Kershaw: man on a mission
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has long been regarded as the best regular season pitcher of this Era and for good reason. He’s been the most dominant pitcher over the last five years. He’s won 3 Cy Young awards and was most likely headed for a fourth one this year before injuring his back before the all star break that forced him to sit out 2 and a half months of the season. At that time Kershaw was leading the league in: ERA (1.79),WAR (4.7). Upon his return Kershaw finished the regular season with 12 wins and 4 losses and lowered his ERA to 1.69 and WAR to 6.5.
You might have caught this in the beginning of the blog that I said that Kershaw is the best regular season pitcher with 126–60 record 2.37 ERA. The one thing that has alluded Kershaw has been Post season success. Kershaw’s postseason record up to now is 4–6 with an 4.39 ERA. In 5 NLDS games he’s 3–3 and a ERA 4.01 and in 4 NLCS games 1–3 with an ERA 5.26. This postseason he has 2 wins and zero losses with 3.72 ERA. In past postseason games Kershaw has had trouble getting past the 6th inning he would be great up until then prime example was 2014 NLDS in game 1 and 4 where Kershaw was great through 6 innings and all of sudden broke down in the 7th allowing a total of 11 runs, 8 in game 1 after leading by 6 and 3 runs in game 4 with a 2–0 lead.
This postseason the story has been a little different it started a bit shaky like if things were never going to change in game 1 of the NLDS vs the Nationals with the Dodgers leading 4–0 the nationals started eating away at their lead in the 3rd and 4th innings dwindiling it down to 1. In the 5th inning with two outs and runners in scoring position Kershaw put his douberts and the Nationals to rest with a nasty curveball at least for a while in game 4 with the dodger leading and kershaw on the mound who allowed three runs in the 7th to the nationals to tie the game facing elimination but fortunatley for Kershaw his teamates picked him up by scoring in the 8th and keeping thier playoff hopes alive. In game 5 Kershaw would repay his teamates after closer Kenley Jansen stikes out the first batter in the bottom of the 9th he walks two straight batters leading to a pitching change and that pither was no other than Kershaw pitching on one day rest he makes the first batter pop out to second and with one more out to clinch the NLDS Kershaw faced Wilmer Difo at 1–2 count he throws his trademark nasty curve ball striking Difo out and sending the Dodgers to the NLCS vs the Chicago Cubs.
Game 2 of the NLCS vs the Cubs, Kershaw solidified that he was a man on a mission this postseason. making his first start of the series Kershaw was untouchable through four innings it wasn't till the 5th with two back to back singles and those would be the only hits the Cubs would get that night. Kershaw pitched 7 innings only 2 hits allowed 1 walk and 6 strikeouts, Jansen would come out in the 8th to complete the shutout.
Game 5 of the NLDS and game 2 of the NLCS has told us one thing and that Kershaw’s out to prove the he is the best pitcher in the world. The Dodgers won game 3 tonight wining back to back games. The question is if the Dodgers win game 4 with Julio Urias starting will the Dodger send out Kerhaw on four days rest to secure their palce in the World Series or save him in case they go seven games. Kershaw closing out this series and putting the Cubs to rest and the Dodger in the world series after 28 long years would only increase Kershaws legacy.