Clayton Kershaw has yet to make a significant impact in the history books
It may go down as one of the worst pitches in Major League Baseball postseason history. Clayton Kershaw (35, Los Angeles Dodgers) has another black mark in the history books.
Kershaw started Game 1 of the National League Division Series (NLDS) of the 2023 Major League Baseball postseason on Aug. 8 and was pulled early after giving up six runs on six hits (one home run) and one walk in ⅓ inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He didn’t even make it out of the first inning before being blown out for six runs, and the Dodgers were off to a dismal 2-11 start at Dodger Stadium.
Double, hit, hit, double, home run, grounder, walk, double. He faced eight batters and got hit nonstop with only one out. All eight batters hit Kershaw’s pitches harder than 96 mph (154.5 km/h). 먹튀검증 Kershaw threw 35 pitches, topping out at 91.2 mph (146.8 km/h) and averaging 90.4 mph (145.5 km/h), including a four-seam fastball (17), slider (14), and curveball (4).
Kershaw became the first starter in the postseason to give up five runs on five hits before getting the first out, according to local media outlets including MLB.com. He is only the third starter to allow six or more runs in ⅓ of an inning, joining Gil Heredia in 2000 (Oakland Athletics, Game 5 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees) and Mike Poultinevich in 2019 (Atlanta Braves, Game 5 of the NLDS against St. Louis Cardinals). All in ⅓ innings and six runs.
It was also the first time in his career, regular season and postseason combined, that Kershaw allowed six runs in one inning. After the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “It was a tough game. We didn’t expect to be in that situation. Kershaw is normally a guy with great stuff and great command, and unfortunately he didn’t have it today,” Roberts said, adding, “It’s even more shocking because they had a great game plan and they executed it.”
Kershaw himself was in disbelief. Surrounded by reporters in the clubhouse after the game, Kershaw said, “I let everybody down. I’m embarrassed.” “I’m really embarrassed for the fans who were expecting me to pitch well in Game 1. We still have a chance, but it shouldn’t have started like this. My pitching was bad for no other reason.” There was some poor defense from rookie center fielder James Outman, but Kershaw blamed himself.
His Dodgers teammates rallied around him. Catcher Will Smith said, “Kershaw is arguably one of the greatest pitchers of all time. But he’s human, he makes mistakes, and we expect him to be back in the next couple days, and when he is, we’re going to take advantage of that opportunity.” First baseman Freddie Freeman added: “I don’t think anybody expected what happened today. But the next time Kershaw takes the mound, we’ll be confident. Hopefully, he’ll be able to get back on the mound.”
If the Dodgers don’t lose both Games 2 and 3 of the NLDS, Kershaw will start again in Game 4 on April 13 at Arizona’s home field, Chase Field. It will be on four days’ rest, but he’ll only need to throw 35 pitches that day.
Roberts said of Kershaw, “Physically, he’s fine. He didn’t show his velocity, but I thought his command was good. He had some bad pitches and they capitalized on them. Our game plan hasn’t changed. We still have faith in Kershaw to start Game 4.” “I feel fine,” Kershaw said. It’s not a health issue, I just didn’t pitch well. I’ll be ready for Game 4,” he said five days later.
For Kershaw to be redeemed, the Dodgers would need to win at least one of Games 2 and 3. Rookie Bobby Miller will start Game 2 and veteran Lance Lynn will start Game 3. The Game 1 loss set the tone, but the Dodgers are capable of bouncing back. Roberts said, “Ironically, last year we didn’t win Game 1 after winning Game 1. Hopefully, the script will flip this time,” Roberts said. In last year’s NLDS, the Dodgers were upset by the San Diego Padres in the wild-card series, losing three straight games after winning Game 1.