Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers pitching coach complains about Fenway crowd taunting Clayton Kershaw

Alex Reimer
October 24, 2018 - 9:44 am

The raucous crowd at Fenway Park Tuesday jeered Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw from the first moment he got into trouble all the way until his lousy Game 1 start prematurely concluded with a man on first base and nobody out in the fifth inning. The 6-foot-4 left-hander, whose once-blistering fastball has been reduced to 90 mph slop, was mocked with chants of “Keeer-shaaww, Keer-shaaww” as he tried to navigate out of jams in the first and third frames.

But apparently, the taunting started well before first pitch. 

After the game, Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt complained to Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci about the intimate Fenway bullpen setup, which grants fans easy access to opposing players. “Brutal. Pretty brutal,” Honeycutt said. “What I don’t understand is why baseball allows it. You’ve got the rubber right there and people literally standing over you.”

That is an amazing quote that embodies how overmatched the Dodgers appeared to be Tuesday. Honeycutt has been around Major League Baseball for four decades, and he’s whining about the crowd being too close to his pitchers in the bullpen? Talk about a loser’s lament. 

On the field, the Dodgers made several brutal mistakes that only exacerbated Kershaw’s struggles. It started with Mookie Betts’ first at-bat of the contest, when David Freese failed to track down a pop-up in foul territory. Betts rocketed Kershaw’s next pitch into center field for a base hit, advanced to second on a stolen base, and scored on Andrew Benintendi’s first of four hits on the night. Yasiel Puig stupidly threw home on the play, even though he had no chance of gunning down Betts, which allowed Benintendi to slide into scoring position. He scored two batters later on J.D. Martinez’s sharp line drive to left. 

Kershaw is one of the best pitchers of his generation, but he looks cooked. In the first inning, he threw 19 of his 20 pitches between 87 and 92 mph. There was no speed variation, and the relentless Red Sox took advantage. 

This postseason, the Red Sox are hitting .365 with runners in scoring position. They went 4-for-12 in those situations Tuesday. 

The Fenway Faithful rattled Kershaw, and the Red Sox lineup finished him.