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.
Clayton Kershaw: "We won Game 1 last year and lost the series, so maybe we'll try it out this way, see if we can win one."
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) October 24, 2018
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.
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.
No days off for Kersh. pic.twitter.com/CTSis5ut8b
— MLB (@MLB) October 22, 2018
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.
Dodgers still plan on starting Clayton Kershaw in WS Game 1 after he threw 15 pitches last night, but not definite yet. If not Kershaw, it will be Rich Hill, manager Dave Roberts said. Hill would start Game 1 or Game 4.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 21, 2018
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.
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.
Clayton Kershaw is expected to pitch tonight. “It’s hard to see a scenario where he’s not a part of this game,” Dave Roberts said.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) October 20, 2018
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 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.
Clayton Kershaw said he has not yet made a decision as to whether he will opt out of his contract with the Dodgers after this season. He has 10 days after the World Series to make that decision.
“Should be a busy 10 days,” he said.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) October 16, 2018
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.
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:
Do us all a favor Kershaw and opt out please. I've seen this story before. Worst postseason ace ever. #Dodgers
— ThaRealSportsCards (@ThaRealCards) October 13, 2018
This is exactly why Kershaw is my least favorite Dodgers pitcher. Comes up small in big situations. Can he opt out & go to the Yankees already? #NLCS
— (@ChipperAN) October 13, 2018
As a Dodger fan I don’t know why we think Kershaw is going to change in the post season. The fact is, he STINKS as a post season pitcher! I’m shocked he actually got past Atlanta in game 2 in the NLDS.
— Robert Coleman (@MeridianRob) October 13, 2018
Dodgers should just start the rebuild. Kershaw, opt out buddy. Come to Texas
— Deer Chair (@deer_chair) October 13, 2018
Clayton Kershaw gets his way and scares Dave Roberts and the FO into starting him in game one of the #NLCS after being upset because Hyun Jin Ryu pitched (and pitched well) after getting the start in game one of the #NLDS. You really showed them Kersh!
— Brian Boges (@Brontoboges) October 13, 2018
thats why Ryu pitched game one from the last series. To much pressure on Kershaw #Dodgers
— Edwin Catalan (@eecjr17) October 13, 2018
I’m sorry but Kershaw should just opt out and leave can’t count on him when it matters On the positive side I get to go to bed early tonight
— Ramon Aguillon (@monchis1998) October 13, 2018
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.
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.
And now, before the inning began, Dave Roberts has pulled Clayton Kershaw, to boos from the crowd. Roberts got the Braves to use a right-handed pinch-hitter. Jansen is in the game.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) October 6, 2018
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.
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.