PEORIA, Ariz. -- Spring training results don't matter.
Just don't tell that to Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who expressed frustration at his lack of early success this spring. Kershaw got hit around by the San Diego Padres Tuesday, giving up seven hits, including a Nick Hundley home run, in three innings.
"Concerned might not be the best word, but it's definitely not a confident feeling, I guess you could say, after giving up that many runs," Kershaw said. "You can't say, 'Oh, you feel great' and, 'Oh, you're doing great,' if you're not seeing the results. I'm definitely looking to have a good start here one of these days."
Kershaw, the 2011 Cy Young winner and 2012 runner-up, has allowed 17 hits and has a 9.00 ERA in eight innings this spring.
The Dodgers insist his velocity is where it should be for this point of the spring and Kershaw said he feels healthy. He has struck out 12 batters, a sign that the results may not be indicative of his raw stuff.
"Kersh is never really happy unless he's throwing zeroes," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "This is part of early spring training for him. If we were seeing a real lack of velocity or something wasn't working, we'd be more concerned. He's OK. He's fine. He's not hurt. We'll have forgotten all about these games once we get moving."
Kershaw was asked how hitters are reacting to his pitches.
"I mean, you saw it, they got hits and runs," he said. "That's really all there is to it. They're reacting well, which is not good."
The Dodgers figure to have one of the better starting rotations in baseball, but several of their veteran starters have gotten off to slow starts. Chad Billingsley has a 10.38 ERA in two starts and Chris Capuano has allowed 10 hits and four earned runs in five innings.