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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw leaves final regular season start with apparent injury

Clayton Kershaw

The Los Angeles Dodgers will be sweating the health of Clayton Kershaw after he left Friday’s start against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kershaw was making what would be his final appearance of the regular season and did not look sharp against Milwaukee. He allowed three earned runs on five hits in 1.2 innings, striking out one. During the second inning, he left the game after talking with a trainer.

It wasn’t clear what was bothering Kershaw. The left-hander missed much of the 2021 season due to elbow inflammation, and had only returned from that two weeks ago. The 33-year-old is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.

The Dodgers are likely headed to the Wild Card game to face the St. Louis Cardinals. The good news is they have plenty of elite pitching to lean on even without Kershaw, but that absence would certainly be felt if they make it into the NLDS.

Clayton Kershaw has suggestion in response to Girardi-Scherzer situation

Clayton Kershaw

The feud between Joe Girardi and Max Scherzer has elicited a lot of opinions from around Major League Baseball, but Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw may have had the most interesting thought about the whole thing.

Girardi had Scherzer checked for foreign substances during the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game between the Phillies and Nationals. It was the third time in four innings Scherzer had been checked, which led some to believe that it wasn’t based on any real suspicion but instead was an attempt to throw Scherzer off his game and take him out of his rhythm. It didn’t work, but it definitely made Scherzer mad, starting a process that led to Girardi’s ejection.

The episode raised a question over whether it’s fair to allow managers to use these checks as a tactic to try to throw pitchers off. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was one of those who had concerns about this, and had an interesting suggestion to ensure that it doesn’t happen.

MLB does have a mechanism in place to punish managers who ask for checks in bad faith. Managers know that, though, and Girardi came prepared with an excuse after the game. Even if you don’t believe Girardi’s reasoning, it’s the sort of thing that shows why demonstrating bad faith on the part of a manager would be very difficult.

Other leagues have instituted consequences to prevent similar rules from being abused. For instance, the NHL formerly allowed teams to challenge the legality of a goaltender’s stick. If a challenged stick was found to be legal, the challenging team was assessed a two-minute penalty. Similarly, NBA and NFL teams lose timeouts if they unsuccessfully challenge plays in addition to there being a limited number of challenges available. It’s more difficult in baseball to come up with a suitable punishment, but there’s definitely a danger that the rules may be abused if there’s no consequence for repeated requests to check a pitcher.

‘Tony Crenshaw’ is Clayton Kershaw’s hilarious coffee alias

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw has a funny alias for when he’s placing his coffee orders.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ TV announcers shared Kershaw’s alias while calling Friday night’s game against the Padres. The name is “Tony Crenshaw.”

“Apparently he’s been called “Crenshaw” a million times through the years. So Tony Crenshaw is the name he places his orders with,” announcer Joe Davis shared.

Davis isn’t wrong about that. Here’s a 2017 interview that shows a woman calling Kershaw “Crenshaw.”

So now you know why he goes with Crenshaw. What about “Tony,” you ask? Well, remove the “Clay” in “Clayton” and add a “Y” and you get “Tony.”

Clayton Kershaw has three Cy Young Awards to his name. We doubt Tony Crenshaw can match that. “Tony Crenshaw” is our favorite athlete alias since this one a few years ago.

Video: Clayton Kershaw tells Jurickson Profar he took bulls–t swing

Clayton Kershaw Jurickson Profar

Clayton Kershaw got into it with Jurickson Profar over a catcher’s interference call on Saturday night.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres were locked in a scoreless game in the bottom of the fourth inning at Petco Park. Profar was batting with nobody on and two outs and had a full count. He likely was looking for an offspeed pitch, because he was caught off guard after Kershaw threw him a fastball for a strike. Profar threw out a courtesy half-swing at the pitch and appeared to strike out. However, the Padres argued there was catcher’s interference.

Take a look at the weak swing Profar offered:

Kershaw was ticked off and told Profar he had a “bulls— swing.” Profar told Kershaw to shut the f— up.

Indeed, that offering by Profar was a bulls— swing. Kershaw wasn’t lying. I’d be ticked off too.

Though Profar reached base on the play, Kershaw got the next batter out to end the inning.

Kershaw did get the Dodgers on the board in the fifth on a bases loaded walk, so maybe that was his version of revenge.

Video: Clayton Kershaw thrilled to get his World Series ring

Clayton Kershawkershaw

Clayton Kershaw has been with the Dodgers since being drafted by them in 2006. He has put together a Hall of Fame career and has been great in the regular season, winning three Cy Young awards and an NL MVP. But he was also known for his postseason mediocrity. However, in 2020, a lot of that changed.

The Dodgers finally won the World Series after falling short in previous seasons. Kershaw also went 4-1 in the postseason, including going 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts against the Rays in the Fall Classic.

As you could imagine, winning the World Series meant a ton to the 33-year-old southpaw. Here is how he looked when he got his World Series ring on Friday at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw got a loud ovation from the fans at Dodger Stadium.

And here is what the rings look like:

This was a long time coming for Dodgers fans. They had waited since 1988 to see another championship. And for Kershaw, the ring was extra sweet.

Jimmy Kimmel asks Dodgers hilarious question during interview

Jimmy Kimmel Dodgers

Jimmy Kimmel had Los Angeles Dodgers star players Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger on for an interview during the week following the team’s World Series win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The ABC late-night host talked with the Dodgers stars about numerous topics, but things got really funny when he threw a zinger at the Houston Astros.

“Was it easier to win a World Series where the other team wasn’t cheating?” Kimmel humorously asked.

“I guess so, we won, so it must have been easier,” Kershaw said.

“I’d say so,” Bellinger added.

Bellinger was one of the most vocal Dodgers players when it came to calling out the Astros for cheating in the 2017 World Series. The Dodgers lost two World Series in a row — to Houston in 2017 and Boston in 2018 — and finally got their ring this year.

And yes, it’s easier to win when the other team isn’t cheating.

Clayton Kershaw sets postseason strikeouts record during strong Game 5 start

Clayton Kershaw

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a victory away from winning their first World Series since 1988, and Clayton Kershaw has been a driving force behind their run.

The Dodgers southpaw pitched 5.2 innings for the win in his team’s 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Sunday night. He allowed two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out six.

The six strikeouts give Kershaw 207 for his postseason career, which is two more than Justin Verlander’s previous record of 205.

Kershaw breaking Verlander’s record is really proof of how many opportunities the veteran has received to pitch in the postseason. The Dodgers have only missed the playoffs three times since Kershaw joined the club in 2008.

Despite his reputation for struggling in the postseason, Kershaw has gone 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 30.2 innings in the 2020 playoffs. This has been the best postseason of his career.

Dave Roberts booed for taking Clayton Kershaw out of Game 5

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts was booed by the Los Angeles Dodgers fans in attendance for Sunday’s Game 5 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas for taking starter Clayton Kershaw out of the game.

Kershaw was rolling and had sat down seven straight Tampa Bay Rays batters. He got two outs on two pitches in the sixth, but that wasn’t enough for Roberts.

Roberts went to the mound to pull Kershaw and got booed.

The Dodgers held a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Roberts removed Kershaw. Dustin May came into the game and got a strikeout to end the sixth.

Roberts continues to face questions for his handling of the Dodgers’ pitching staff and even admitted to a mistake in Game 4.

Clayton Kershaw defies postseason reputation with impressive Game 1 start

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw defied his reputation as a postseason choker with an impressive start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 8-3 Game 1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday night.

Kershaw pitched six innings and allowed just one run, two hits, a walk and had eight strikeouts in the game. About his only mistake was a solo home run to Kevin Kiermaier in the fifth inning.

Kershaw entered the game 11-12 with a 4.78 ERA in the postseason. He had a career 1-2 record and 5.40 ERA in the World Series over 26.2 innings. To see him come out and dominate for six innings in such a big game was a surprise.

But Kershaw actually has a record amount of starts in the postseason of at least six innings with no more than one earned run and one walk.

The Dodgers southpaw is now up to 200 career postseason strikeouts and is five behind Justin Verlander’s postseason record of 205.

What this tells us is that despite all his struggles, Kershaw has also had plenty of good starts in the postseason. And in general, the guy has just gotten many more opportunities in the postseason than most players. Since making his MLB debut in 2008, the Dodgers have made the playoffs in 10 of 13 seasons.

Dave Roberts explains decision to stick with Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost Game 4 of the NLCS 10-2 to the Atlanta Braves at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Thursday night, and manager Dave Roberts was left answering questions.

The game was tied 1-1 through five innings but turned in the bottom of the sixth. Clayton Kershaw allowed a solo home run in the fourth but was pitching well otherwise. Then in the sixth, he allowed an infield single followed by a sharp run-scoring double to Freddie Freeman.

Some thought it was time to pull Kershaw, but Roberts left in the starter. Kershaw allowed an RBI double to Marcell Ozuna (who previously hit the home run) and then was lifted down 3-1.

Brusdar Graterol, who hadn’t allowed an inherited runner to score all season, imploded and allowed three straight hits. The Braves broke the game open with six runs to go up 7-1.

So why did Roberts stick with Kershaw? He felt the southpaw was pitching well and there was no reason to take him out.

Many fans had an inkling that something bad was about to happen, and that’s because that his how things have often gone during Clayton Kershaw starts in the NLCS. And things did fall apart. That led fans to have more issues with Roberts’ handling of his pitchers.

The Dodgers are now down 3-1 in the NLCS and looking at possibly their eighth straight disappointing playoff exit.