The Dodgers got punched in the mouth after their embarrassing playoff opener against the Diamondbacks thanks in large part to the shortest outing of Clayton Kershaw’s career.
Kershaw mustered just one out against Arizona in an agonizing game that felt all but over in the top of the first.
Command and velocity concerns persisted throughout his return from injury and one scout predicted this outcome despite some great outings to finish the year from the lefty.
“I saw that start against the Giants [on Sept. 23],” the scout wrote. “Tough to see where the stuff is. So much respect for him. He actually had some success, as I felt their hitters struggled to adjust to the diminished stuff. I will be surprised if it looks like that against a better club.”via Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com
No more than two earned runs crossed the plate in any of Kershaw’s final three starts of the season that included said start against the Giants for his second to last outing of the regular year.
Extended rest and recovery for Kershaw’s shoulder led to another fine start to end his regular season, but last Saturday night proved that October truly is a different ball game.
LA didn’t help their starter’s cause after they failed to plate a run until the eighth inning yet many critics wondered why Dave Roberts sent out his injured veteran to begin their 2023 title run.
Roberts now faces a 0-1 deficit and lost home-field advantage after he controversially declared his veteran starter the man for the job in Game 1.
Bobby Miller takes the ball in Game 2 but LA’s task gets no easier with NL Cy Young candidate Zac Gallen on the bump for the Snakes.
Kershaw’s Hall of Fame legacy is secured as the best regular season pitcher of his generation yet playoff success continues to elude him outside of the 2020 championship season.
Adaptability and location couldn’t save Kershaw last weekend and it’ll be up to his teammates to respond to such a crushing blow.
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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