Clayton Kershaw's mother dies; he plans to pitch Tuesday
Despite the death of his mother on Saturday, Clayton Kershaw is still planning to make his next scheduled start for the Dodgers on Tuesday, manager Dave Roberts said.
“He’s doing OK,” Roberts said Sunday, ahead of the Dodgers Mother’s Day game against the San Diego Padres. “I’m sure this is a day he has a heavy heart. But as far as I understand, he’ll make his start on Tuesday.”
Kershaw’s mom, Marianne, died Saturday morning.
Kershaw’s wife, Ellen, announced the news that afternoon during a ceremony in Inglewood to dedicate a pair of baseball fields in honor of the pitcher’s foundation, Kershaw’s Challenge.
“She experienced no greater joy than watching her son grow into the man, the philanthropist, the father and the ball player he is today,” Ellen said, in a speech captured by Sports Central LA.
“[She] moved mountains to get him to baseball practice and games. She sat front row cheering him on — not so subtly — and would keep score in a book to keep her nerves at bay. So today, we dedicate this field to his sweet mom.”
Kershaw declined to discuss the situation Sunday, but Roberts indicated the 35-year-old could be away from the team on the bereavement list following his Tuesday start.
“It’s not surprising,” Roberts said of Kershaw's desire to pitch. “And then, once he makes his start, I’m sure there’s gonna be some things that are gonna take place he’ll take part in, a ceremony or service, if that’s what they choose.”
Asked about Kershaw’s ability to compartmentalize his pitching amid such personal tragedy, Roberts called the three-time Cy Young Award winner “pretty remarkable.”
“When you’re dealing with this, the passing of a parent," Roberts said, "that’s up there, as tough as it gets."
Roberts also confirmed that Noah Syndergaard will start on Monday.
The right-hander had to leave his last start after one inning because of a blister on his index finger, but said he felt good during a bullpen session Saturday and doesn’t expect the blister to give him problems when the Dodgers open their series against the Minnesota Twins this week.
“Yesterday’s ‘pen, he came out of it well,” Roberts said. “Today, he put some stuff on it got, through catch play. So I think right now we’re good to go.”
Just in case either situation changes in the next few days, the Dodgers gave themselves some rotation flexibility Sunday by scratching top prospect Gavin Stone from his scheduled triple-A start — which would keep him available for this week in case he is needed.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.