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Monday, October 21, 2019

Clayton Kershaw blows Game 5 lead by surrendering back-to-back home runs

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw has long faced criticism about his pitching in the postseason, and his outing on Wednesday night will only give fuel to his critics.

Kershaw gave some hope that he would be able to step up and close out Game 5 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he struck out Adam Eaton with two outs and two on in the top of the seventh. He had escaped the jam and came through for the Dodgers to preserve a 3-1 lead … but that was until the eighth inning.

Kershaw began the eighth by allowing back-to-back home runs to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto.

The southpaw was gutted after allowing the big blasts to tie the game 3-3.

Frustrating fans even more, Kenta Maeda then relieved Kershaw and struck out the next three batters to end the inning.

Many Dodgers fans felt southpaw Adam Kolarek would have been the better option to face lefty Eaton than Kershaw, and that Maeda would have been the better choice for the eighth. Maeda had been nearly perfect in the postseason, while Kershaw was not very sharp in a Game 2 loss and does not often pitch in this role.

Kershaw entered the game with a career 4.33 postseason ERA, which only rose after the outing. Kershaw admitted after his Dodgers lost 7-3 in 10 innings that all the narratives about his postseason struggles were true at the time.

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