ARLINGTON, Texas — Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from his Game 2 start in the National League Championship Series because of back spasms, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced Tuesday morning, about six hours before the first pitch from Globe Life Field.
Tony Gonsolin, a rookie, will start in Kershaw’s place.
Kershaw, 32, experienced something of a career renaissance this season, displaying a deeper slider and a firmer fastball while posting a 2.16 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP and a 7.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 58⅓ innings. The Dodgers were especially counting on him after losing Game 1 of the best-of-seven series to the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.
This is the first time back issues have cropped up for Kershaw since he was scratched hours before his Opening Day start. The left-hander was ready by the time his 10-day stint on the injured list expired.
Gonsolin has been among the best rookies in a crowded field for the NL Rookie of the Year Award, posting a 2.31 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP and a 6.57 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 46⅔ innings. Gonsolin going in Game 2 means Julio Urias probably will go in Game 3. After that, it gets complicated, especially after Dustin May faced eight batters in Monday’s 5-1 loss.