The Chattanooga Lookouts and their fans played host to one of the best pitchers in baseball as Clayton Kershaw of the LA Dodgers completed a rehab assignment for the AA affiliate. The Lookouts had a packed house and according to General Manager Rich Mozingo the opportunity for Chattanooga and Tri-state area baseball fans to see Kershaw would be an exciting one. Prior to the game during an interview on WGOW radio Mozingo said that even his employees should enjoy the evening.
"I told everyone, all of my people, get ready to work hard because it's going to be a busy night," Mozingo said referring to what would eventually be a sold-out evening. "But, I also the entire staff to be sure to stop and take a minute to watch one of baseball's best players while he's here. This is a great opportunity for Chattanooga to see one of the great pitchers of our time."
Mozingo is correct when he describes the lefty as being one of the best in the game. Kershaw has won two of the past three National League Cy Young awards. That's a pitcher well worth seeing. Kershaw's appearance, as a Chattanooga Lookout against the Tennessee Smokies, was his second minor-league rehab start. He made his first rehab start with Rancho Cucamonga allowing just two hits while striking out six batters in five scoreless innings. Rancho Cucamonga is in the high Single-A California League.
The Lookouts lost to the Smokies 5 to 4 but the game for Kershaw seemed to go well as he was threw 86 pitches over five innings leaving the game with the game tied at two. Everyone in the stands knew that Kershaw would be on a regulated pitch count and the Cy Young winner said he wished he could have stayed in longer but knew his main goal, and that of the Dodgers, was to make sure he fared well with a higher pitch count.
"I would like to have gotten through six or seven innings," Kershaw said after the game. "But I had a good time working with these guys. It's tough when pitch counts are in the back of your mind. Obviously the main goal of why I was here was to get my pitch count up and be ready for 100-plus pitches in the big leagues."