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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Feels He Benefitted from Lesser Role in Postseason



Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, World Series champion. It has a sweet ring to it (pun intended). As we all know, Kersh is already one of the all-time greats in MLB history. With an MVP, multiple Cy Young awards, and a full slate of All-Star berths and other accolades to his name, he’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer five years after he retires. However, he had been missing one key ingredient.

A world championship.

Clayton has been chasing that title since his early days alongside Andre Ethier, Russell Martin, James Loney, Matt Kemp, and so on. Then, he was a rookie still getting his footing in the league. He elevated to become one of the game’s best and, as it turns out, may put a lot of pressure on himself to be the guy that does everything for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2020, it was a different Kersh. Moreover, that was something he discussed this week with AM570’s “Dodger Talk” host Dave Vassegh. In fact, he admitted to Vassegh that he probably definitely had tried to do too much over the years.

“I think at times in the past maybe I’ve thought that I had to do more than I really have to,” Kershaw said, “especially with the teams that we have. And especially this year. You know, we have Mookie, we have JT, we have Seags, we have Belli — like, I was just a guy to go help. I think that helped me so much. And then you have Walker to kind of take the brunt of the rest of the postseason and that helped me. I’m not gonna lie, that was awesome to have.”

As his manager Dave Roberts pointed out during his victory speech, we talk about a narrative with Clayton. But, as a crushed Kershaw admitted after a game 5 defeat in the 2019 NLDS, maybe it was all true. But maybe that was truly the final eye-opener for the long-time ace.

In 2020, Clayton Kershaw did not make a single relief appearance in the postseason. Clayton Kershaw didn’t even make one start on short rest. And now, a jubilant Clayton Kershaw is a world champion.

NEXT: Kenley Jansen’s Contract Makes Liam Hendriks a Great Fit

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. No starts on short rest. No extended starts deeper into games than effectiveness allows. No relief appearances. All of these things allowed Kershaw to have his best postseason ever.

  2. I’ve been a Dodger fan for a long, long time. Seen Sal the Barber, Newcomb, Podres, Drysdale, Sandy, Fernando, Orel and the rest. Actually cried when we traded Pedro for Delino Deshields. Other than Sandy, Clayton is as good as any of them and may be the best of the rest. Knowing how humble Clayton is, he will just feel privileged to be included in that list…..but whatever, I love you Kersh….God bless you and your great family. Keep on keeping on.

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