After battling through injury for the better part of the second half, veteran starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw finally is feeling like himself. He has started to get healthier as time has gone on, and he believes he is ready for the playoffs.
Kershaw made his final start of the regular season on Saturday and looked good in limited time. He now will await the decision to see when he will start in the NLDS, but manager Dave Roberts hinted at him getting the ball in game one.
“Whenever it is, I’m just excited to get to do it,” Kershaw said. “With the way this year kind of went, I didn’t really expect to be in this spot for a lot of reasons. But it’s here and if that happens, I’ll be ready.”Per The LA Times
LA will need Kershaw to continue being the dominant pitcher that he has been all year long if they want any chance in the postseason. Thankfully, he is feeling good and seems to be putting his injured shoulder in the rearview mirror even if he isn’t exactly where he wants to be. But the future Hall-of-Famer did admit that he didn’t know what to expect down the stretch.
“Honestly when I came back I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Kershaw. “But I think, give Doc a lot of credit. He’s handled it really well, giving me some extra days to kind of get my feet under me. Now I feel pretty good. I feel I’m kind of turning a corner health-wise and feel good. So ready for the next one.”Per The LA Times
For the season, he posted an ERA of 2.46, marking the 13th time in 15 years that his ERA was below 3.00 in a year. It’s an incredible achievement for the veteran and it shows just how great he has been for this Dodgers team over the years.
While he has seen his fair amount of struggles in the playoffs, the team believes in him to get the job done. They will need him to give what he can, whatever that looks like.
“It’s just will,” Roberts said. “He just finds a way to do his job, and do it well. So I just marvel at him.”Per The LA Times
LA won’t be letting him go very deep into games, but they don’t need him to do so. They have a solid bullpen, and pitching depth to use this year, so Kershaw will just need to pitch about five innings. It has worked well over the last few starts of his, and it’s a plan that they will keep using throughout the postseason.
Photo Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
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