ARLINGTON, Texas – Clayton Kershaw has been scratched since his start in Game 2 of the National League Championship for back spasms, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Tuesday morning, about six hours before the first field of Globe Life Park.
Rookie Tony Gonsolin will replace Kershaw.
The 32-year-old Kershaw experienced something of a career renaissance this season, featuring a deeper slider and a harder fast ball, while posting a 2.16 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and a stroke-to-walk ratio of 7.75 for 58⅓ innings. The Dodgers relied heavily on him after losing game 1 of the best of seven series in the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.
This is the first time Kershaw has had back problems since he was scratched hours before the opening day. The left-hander was ready by the end of his 10-day stay on the injured list.
Gonsolin is among the best rookies in the crowded field for the National Rookie of the Year award of the year, posting a 2.31 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 6.57 stroke-to-walk ratio in 46⅔ passes. Gonsolin in Game 2 means Julio Urias is likely to enter Game 3. It then gets complicated, especially after Dustin May faced eight tests in a 5-1 loss on Monday.