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Dodgers Clayton Kershaw Talks about Game 2 Performance vs. Nationals

Respect for accountability.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 28: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks during Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, March 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles Dodgers won 12-5. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw tossed a quality start for the Dodgers in game 2 of the NLDS. However, sometimes that’s not enough — especially when someone is dealing the way Stephen Strasburg was.

6 innings pitched with 6 hits and 3 earned runs allowed might pass in the regular season, but in the postseason, it’s a different story. Kershaw agrees. Moreover, Kershaw places the blame on himself for giving the Washington Nationals the early 3-0 advantage.

The lefty was critical of his ability to get outs early.

You just get leadoff hitters out — that’s huge. You get leadoff hitters out to start innings, that’s really big — definitely minimizes damage.

He doubled up on that one, which gives you an idea of where his mind it. Indeed, in the first two innings, he allowed a double then hit a batter which set the Nats up to score. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Washington capitalized.

Kershaw didn’t serve up a home run in this game. Instead he uncharacteristically hit two batters. He hit two batters total all season long in 2019.

Nevertheless, he did his part to keep his team in the game — something he did time and time again during the regular season — and plainly got out pitched by a dominant Strasburg. ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez adds to the narrative on Kershaw.

The Dodgers head to Washington tied 1-1 with the Nats in the NLDS. Game 3 will take place on Sunday and will feature NL Cy Young hopeful Hyun-Jin Ryu potentially against Max Scherzer.

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.

7 Comments

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  1. Kershaw is a very good middle of the road pitcher he is no longer elite. The Dodgers going forward (2020) have much better chance of winning 1-0, 2-1 type games with Buehler, Urias, May and Gonsolin than Kershaw he is a 3 plus ERA pitcher with a higher WHIP.
    Kershaw was lucky to only allow 3 runs.
    If I were the Dodgers I would sign Ryu in 2020 and trade Kershaw to a Texas team. The Dodgers have enough pitchers without him.
    You must have pitchers that can win close games in the playoffs. Kershaw is fine in the regular season but not the guy that can give you shutouts in the playoffs as he has demonstrated his entire career. That is why the Astros gave up a TON of talent to get Greinke they have an incredible top 3. And with Cole and others in Free Agency next year know this may be their final chance for a year or three.
    The cult of Kershaw comparing him to Koufax is laughable. I lived those years. I am 68. Koufax in the playoffs was un-hittable. Koufax and Drysdale carried their teams to Championships…It is why Bumgardner is also better than Kershaw he put his team on his back and he WON!!

    • tmaxster
      You’re right, Koufax was the best.
      1963 World Series – swept Yankees 4 games to 0.
      Koufax – 2 complete games
      Drysdale – 1 complete game
      Podres – 8 1/3 inn.
      Bullpen – 2/3 inn.
      Final team ERA – 1.00
      That’s pitching in the big time.

      • Exactly! And let’s not forget that the 1963 Yankee team we beat in 4 games was way way better than whatever AL team gets into this year’s WS. After all, those Yankee teams won the previous 2 WS before in 1961 and 1962

    • Tmax
      You must live and breathe just to hate the Dodgers. Maybe you should join a gnats page with all your negativity.

  2. Bumgardner, who had ONE great postseason, is not better than Kershaw, as a pitcher (he stinks now) or as a person – he’s MadBum, i..e. a crazy bastard.

  3. “Quality start” is arguably the worst stat idea ever. It is an ERA of 4.50. ERA’s of 4.50 don’t make $25 million per year. Everyone has to face the fact that the pre-2018 Kershaw is a thing of the past and is never coming back. I love the guy but he’s a #3 starter now. I don’t understand how he’s never been able to develop a change -up. A curveball is a fickle animal and it’s not always going to be there when needed. When it’s not there, Kershaw has only a now mediocre fastball and a slider which comes in at about the same velocity. MLB hitters will be running to the plate when that’s the case.I also don’t understand his fairly common poor first inning, putting the team in an immediate hole. I believe the team is good enough to win it all but it’s time to give up the “it’s ok, we’ve got Kersh going tomorrow” mentality.

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