Kershaw struggled his last time out on Sunday against the Pirates, giving up four runs on nine hits. There were talks that he felt discomfort in his back, and he left the team's road trip to have his back stiffness examined.
The former Cy Young Award winner has made at least 30 starts in six of the past seven seasons. This year, he is 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA, leads the National League with 121 innings, 145 strikeouts, and a 0.73 WHIP. Los Angeles is 14-2 with their ace on the mound, and 29-35 without him.
The team acquired 31-year-old Bud Norris from the Atlanta Braves after this move was announced, and he made his team debut on Friday. Norris threw six shutout innings, striking out eight against the Rockies. He had made 11 starts this season, 22 appearances overall, going 3-7 with a 4.22 ERA. He has been dealing as of late, going 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in his last five appearance with Atlanta.
Norris is definitely no Kershaw, and the team does not expect him to be, but if he keeps pitching the way he has, it may be enough to hold down the fort until the dominant lefty returns.