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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Struggles Discussed by Dave Roberts and Rick Honeycutt

Clayton Kershaw’s postseason struggles have been well-documented for the better half of the decade. But…that was old Kershaw. As he has hit the plateau of 30 years of age and his fastball velocity has rapidly declined, Kershaw has been forced to reinvent himself. This…is a new Kershaw.

According to a recent column by Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the organization — including Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt — believe in Kershaw again this October. While both men have always believed in the generational left-hander, there is something different about it this time around.

Here is the link to DiGiovanna’s column for the Los Angeles Times:

Dave Roberts on Kershaw

While Clayton Kershaw has been dominant as of late — allowing four earned runs across six innings in his last start against the Rockies — Roberts is keeping faith.

“With Clayton, I feel really good that when the bell rings for the postseason he’s gonna be locked and loaded. For me, if he’s feeling strong, I’ll trust that the results will be there.”

Kershaw boasts an uncharacteristic 5.24 ERA over his last six starts.

Kershaw’s cold stretch has been marked by his susceptibility to surrendering the home run ball. He has allowed a whopping THIRTEEN dingers in his past six starts.

“Yeah, he’s given up some solo homers, but when he needs to limit damage, he does that. When he needs to make a pitch, he does that. Clayton is going to be more than fine.”

All in all, though, Roberts is keeping faith in the former consensus best pitcher in the game and for good reason. His track record more than warrants it.

“I wish I had an explanation, but the way Clayton goes about things and prepares, he’s an easy guy to know that once the postseason starts, he’ll be ready and he’s going to perform.”

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Rick Honeycutt

Honey is also keeping faith in Kersh, as you would expect. The two men have worked side by side for Kershaw’s entire major league career.

“If anything, if you think about it too much it becomes more in your head than what you want. If there was any one thing that jumped out, we would address it. He obviously knows what he’s doing. He’s been good at it for a long time. He’s just trying to get better every time he goes out.”

Honeycutt also discussed the need for Kershaw to stay on a distinct schedule and that September has not exactly allowed him to do that. Kershaw holds a 2.35 ERA in eight starts on normal rest this season, as opposed to a 4.07 ERA in twelve starts when receiving an extra day of rest.

“With a guy like Clayton, sometimes the extra rest is not always the best thing. Because we had the luxury of doing it, we made sure he had the extra day for a long time. Then you turn around, and he hasn’t pitched for a week twice. Today’s player, we get into our own rhythm, our schedule, and then when you get out of that just a little bit, it can disrupt you. There’s no perfect world, I guess, is what I’m saying.”


Dave believes. Honey believes. Should we?

Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.


  1. Honeycutt states above the statistics for Kershaw this season. In 8 starts he has a 2.35 ERA with normal rest and in 12 starts he has a 4.07 ERA with extra rest.
    How stupid are Honeycutt and Roberts. You just stated the obvious. He doesn’t need the extra days off. That is your fault for NOT pitching him on 4 days rest. He works best on a schedule.

  2. sounds like they are trying to save their jobs……..irrational thinking creates irrational results………Kershaw is showing results of their decision making…….sad

  3. The Dodgers should just F off for a couple years avoid anymore embarrassment and hopefully when they comeback some of those AL teams they can’t beat will be weaker and perhaps the Dodgers will legitimately be the best in both leagues

  4. Well CK has 15 wins so far this year but unlike in his earlier years he’s getting about an average of 7 runs of support per game. So even though he serves up HR’s early in many games, he has been bailed out by the offense on those occasions.

    1. AZUL, you are exactly right (as usual), and this gives me cause to worry also. Kersh won a gang of games in spite of his pitching, thanks primarily to our slugging. As you have said repeatedly, when we go up against Houston, the Yankees, even the Braves, we cannot afford to be in a hole that Kersh dug for us by surrendering home runs in the early innings. I think PD Jr. would tell you the same thing. Stay well!!! Go Blue!!!!!

  5. They need better pitching just like every year no championship until they wake up and see that.Starting and relief.Kershaw and company cannot do it wake up managerment!

  6. Kershaws back is the reason he had to adjust his pitches and velocity has fallen.. If you look at his old outings on youtube his follow thru is totally different now.. he doesn’t get as low anymore.. His back wont allow it.. Also when he plays at night in cold weather I get worried. His back is even more tender and not warm. So lots of pitches will be hanging.. He has not been a good pitcher for what ever reason in the playoffs before so why would he be good now.. Does not make sense.

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