GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Wednesday was the first day Dodgers starting pitchers threw live batting practice to hitters, and right out of the chute, National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw opposed the middle of the starting lineup: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and James Loney.
"He was throwing hard. Really hard," NL MVP Award runner-up Kemp said. "They would have me face the Cy Young winner the first day, huh? Guess it can only go uphill from there."
Kershaw has been dealing with mild back tightness that delayed his first bullpen session by two days. But Loney said Kershaw was sharp.
"It was fun," Loney said. "It should get easier after facing him as the first guy."
Kershaw said it was a little strange pitching to his teammates.
"I don't remember facing them before," he said. "Mostly, they were just tracking [not swinging]. It was a little weird. I'll talk to them and get some feedback, see how they thought it looked."