Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw takes himself seriously. On the mound, he’s an intense competitor who is rarely bothered by anything. We’re talking about a player who is so focused on his craft that he has no time for bench-clearing arguments.
But Kershaw showed a rare moment of emotion as he watched Hyun-Jin Ryu take on the Miami Marlins on Thursday.
In the top of the third inning, speedy Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon pounded a Ryu curveball straight into the ground in front of home plate. The ball took a high bounce as it traveled back toward the pitcher’s mound.
Ryu was quick to react, though, immediately leaping up and snagging the ball in his glove. He quickly fired the ball to first to retire Gordon. It was quite an impressive play that showed surprising agility and athleticism.
Even Kershaw seemed impressed. His reaction from the dugout was priceless. Kershaw initially looked shocked that Ryu was capable of making the play. After he realized what just happened, Kershaw smiled, looked over at another one of his teammates as if to say “did you just see that?” and laughed.
Even the announcers noticed Kershaw’s reaction. During the highlight, you can hear Dodgers play-by-play man Joe Davis say “‘who is that guy?’ Clayton wonders.” His partner, Nomar Garciaparra sums it up nicely be adding, “I think Clayton Kershaw’s expression says it all.”
While that was the clear highlight, Ryu was pretty solid overall. The lefty allowed two runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in the team’s 7-2 win.
Pitching well and giving your team a win is always a good thing, but Ryu is used to that by now. Impressing Clayton Kershaw with your athletic abilities? Now that’s a rare accomplishment.
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