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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Articles tagged: Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw has optimistic way of looking at Game 1 loss

Clayton Kershaw

The Los Angeles Dodgers did not get off to the start they were hoping for in the World Series on Tuesday night, and Clayton Kershaw wonders if that may end up being a good thing.

Kershaw, who took the loss after giving up seven hits and five earned runs in four innings of work, reminded reporters after the game that the Dodgers won Game 1 of the World Series last year. They went on to lose the series to the Houston Astros.

Of course, no team wants to start out a series with a loss. That said, Game 1 was hardly a must-win for L.A. The 8-4 loss made Game 2 more important, but the Dodgers knew coming into the series that they needed to split the first two games in Boston before returning home for three.

A bigger concern than being in an 0-1 hole is Kershaw’s continued struggles and the seeming inability of the Red Sox to do anything wrong. Boston manager Alex Cora made a somewhat surprising decision to pinch-hit Eduardo Nunez for a red-hot Rafael Devers on Tuesday, and Nunez rewarded him by breaking the game open with a three-run home run. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, on the other hand, made a controversial pitching change that did not work out.

The Red Sox will send David Price to the mound on Wednesday night, and the left-hander is coming off his first career win in the postseason. L.A. is countering with Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Watch: Clayton Kershaw was already working out at Fenway Park

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw was already back to work less than 24 hours after helping the Los Angeles Dodgers clinch a World Series berth.

Kershaw pitched the 9th inning of the Dodgers’ Game 7 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night at Miller Park. A day later, he was spotted working out in the bullpen at Fenway Park in Boston. Kershaw appeared to be doing visualization and mechanics repetition in the pen.

Kershaw seems to be big on this sort of visualization. We also saw him do the same thing last year in Houston. It’s even more important now because Kershaw has never pitched at Fenway before.

Kershaw could be the Dodgers’ Game 1 starter against the Red Sox in the World Series despite pitching on Saturday.

Kershaw appeared three times in the NLCS against the Brewers. He lost Game 1, won Game 5, and closed out the victory in Game 7. He is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA this postseason.

Whether it’s Kershaw or Rich Hill, the matchup will feature two southpaws starting. The Red Sox will open with Chris Sale in Game 1.

Dave Roberts expects to use Clayton Kershaw in NLCS Game 7

Clayton Kershaw

The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to use anyone they can to help them get through Game 7 of the NLCS, and it sounds as if that includes Clayton Kershaw.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts more or less guaranteed that Kershaw would find a way into Game 7 in a relief role ahead of Saturday’s first pitch.

Walker Buehler is the scheduled starter for the Dodgers. He’ll be going on regular rest, but since this is an elimination game, he’ll be out at the first sign of trouble, especially if Roberts is sensitive to criticism of his handling of his Game 6 starter. It certainly stands to reason that Kershaw, who pitched and won Game 5 on Wednesday, could be the first one out of the bullpen when Buehler falters.

Clayton Kershaw addresses whether he will opt out of contract

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw addressed his potential free agency prior to Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

Kershaw has an important decision to make at the conclusion of this season. Kershaw has an opt out in his contract that would make him a free agent if he chooses to exercise it. He would join other big names like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in what would be a star-studded free agent class.

On Tuesday, Kershaw discussed his upcoming decision, saying he has not yet made one at this time.

Kershaw, 30, is owed $65 million over the next two seasons. He has to weigh whether he’d rather lock in a longer term deal now for perhaps less annual money than he’d make in his current contract, or whether to play out his existing contract before testing the market.

For now, Kershaw will have to focus on trying to beat the Brewers in the NLCS. However, as soon as the season is completed, attention will turn to Kershaw in what will be a tense time around Los Angeles.

Dodgers fans so done with Clayton Kershaw after bad NLCS start

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw on Friday had his shortest start of his postseason career, which is saying a lot considering how shaky he’s been in the playoffs.

Kershaw was charged with five runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks over three-plus innings in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers. He was lifted in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Los Angeles Dodgers fans were not happy at all with his performance and can’t wait to move on from him. Take a look at some of the reactions:

Former MLB All-Star Mark Mulder had a concerning observation. He said that this was the first time he watched Kershaw and did not think the southpaw had much good stuff in his repertoire.

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Dodgers fans boo Dave Roberts for removing Kershaw from shutout

Clayton Kershaw

The only time any negative sentiment crept into Dodger Stadium on Friday night was when manager Dave Roberts removed Clayton Kershaw from the game.

Kershaw delivered one of the best postseason performances of his career, going eight innings of two-hit shutout ball in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. Kershaw was cruising and had only thrown 85 pitches, so Roberts sent him out for the top of the 9th inning (after already letting him bat in the bottom of the 7th).

When Atlanta countered with a right-handed hitting pinch-hitter, Roberts came out and pulled Kershaw in favor of closer Kenley Jansen. That’s when the fans in Los Angeles booed Roberts.

The fans had a few good reasons to boo. One, Kershaw was not laboring and seemingly could have easily closed out the game. Two, Jansen has been shaky, and they didn’t want to see him ruin Kershaw’s masterpiece.

Jansen gave up a hit but closed out the game for the save in a 3-0 win. The Dodgers now lead the series 2-0 and seem to be in better shape than any other NL team after getting two incredible starts to take any pressure off their bullpens.

Clayton Kershaw explains his lack of strikeouts in unusual outing

Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs on six hits over six innings in a Wednesday loss to the Oakland Athletics. And most surprisingly of all, he struck out just one batter.

The lone strikeout was a season-low for Kershaw, but perhaps even more odd than that was the All-Star managed to get only four swinging strikes. Still, it was enough to earn his seventh consecutive quality start.

It was just the third time in Kershaw’s career that he struck out fewer than two batters and over eight years since the last time he had that sort of strikeout futility. It was also the longest Kershaw had gone into a start (4 1/3 innings) without recording a strikeout in his career (307 career starts).

After the game, Kershaw acknowledged that he got through with nothing but “smoke and mirrors.”

“I didn’t have much of anything tonight. It was a little bit of smoke and mirrors,” Kershaw told the Orange County Register. “I was getting ahead of guys but especially in that 4th inning when they scored – a lot of hits with 2 strikes there. I didn’t really have those put-away pitches.”

Kershaw’s (5-5) next start is scheduled for Monday, August 13 against the San Francisco Giants.

10 current players who are on their way to the Hall of Fame

Clayton Kershaw no-hitter

As six players are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, it’s easy to look around the current crop of active players and ask which of them will someday receive the same honor. There are many players who are on the right path, but the road to Cooperstown is filled with players who looked like future Hall of Famers before their careers took turns for the worse.

Here is a list of ten active MLB players who look to be on the right track to someday be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Adrian Beltre, Rangers

Beltre’s late-career revival, particularly during his Texas Rangers years, should send him to Cooperstown. A .287 career hitter, he has already surpassed 3,000 hits. He may fall just short of 500 home runs, but he had roughly a decade at the very top of the game. He is a five-time Gold Glover and recognized as one of the better defenders in the game. From 2010 through 2017, he hit .310 and averaged over 30 home runs per season. That’s a lengthy and excellent peak, and it came years after his 48-homer, near MVP season in 2004 with the Dodgers.

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Clayton Kershaw says facing former catcher was ‘miserable’

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw threw six scoreless innings and allowed just two hits in an 8-2 win over the San Diego Padres Monday night, but there were two outs in the game that the left-hander took no pleasure in recording.

For the first time in their careers, Kershaw and A.J. Ellis — now a backup catcher for the Padres — faced each other in competition. Ellis has caught more of Kershaw’s starts than any other catcher, and Kershaw said it was “miserable” having to pitch against him.

“That was miserable,” he said, via Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register. “I’ve faced a lot of ex-teammates and friends in this game. But probably nobody that I have the history I have with A.J. We both kind of decided that, hopefully, that was the last time we have to do that.”

As Plunkett notes, Kershaw on Monday became the 13th pitcher in Los Angeles Dodgers history to surpass the 2,000-inning mark for his career. Ellis caught 829 of those innings, and both players made their debut with the Dodgers in 2008. Ellis went 0-for-2 with a ground out and a fly out against Kershaw.

The bond between a pitcher and catcher has a tendency to be strong, and that is especially true when the combo has enjoyed as much success together as Kershaw and Ellis.

Dodgers C says Clayton Kershaw looked like his old self

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw may have come away from Thursday’s game against the Chicago Cubs with a no-decision instead of a win, but there was some good news from his start.

Kershaw was making his second start since being activated from the disabled list by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed just one run on four hits over five innings while striking out six. Kershaw departed with a 3-1 lead, but Walker Buehler and Erik Goeddel struggled in relief and the Dodgers lost 11-5.

After the game, Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said Kershaw looked like his old self.

That’s a great sign for the Dodgers. Despite all their injuries and struggles to start the season, they’ve finally come around in June and are now above .500 for the season. At 43-37, they’re in the wild-card race and not far behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for second in the NL West. Kershaw being back to his old form will help them continue to push for a playoff spot.