Clayton Kershaw is one of the greatest pitchers of all-time in the regular season. That is an inarguable fact. He is likely going to go down as the greatest pitcher of the last few decades. This knock of Kershaw has always been his lackluster legacy when it comes to pitching in the playoffs. Kershaw has no World Series rings at this stage of his career — they could still come — but the Dodgers have lost countless meaningful games due to underperformance from their ace.
However, the Houston Astros cheating scandal sheds some light on the legacy of Clayton Kershaw. He had a fantastic Game 1 outing against Houston in the 2017 World Series and was excellent in relief in Game 7. This all happened while the Astros knew what pitches were coming. Wild.
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) January 27, 2020
Clayton Kershaw has never been recorded specifically discussing Game 5 of that World Series since that day, but he took the time to talk about it on Petros and Money on AM 570 Los Angeles.
Kershaw Talks Game 5 of 2017 World Series
Despite the frustration, Kershaw is handling the news quite well. He views it as a strengthening mechanism that can bring the 2020 Dodgers together as a team:
“I was listening to it and understanding what went down and it’s just frustrating. It’s now fun. After 2017, you try to just bury the hatchet and move on as best as you can, but when stuff like this comes back up, it is just a little harder to swallow. I think the one bright side of all of it is that it happened now and that we can get to spring training and get together as a team and move forward. We have had about a month to process it, so I think at least for me that will be good.”
According to Clayton Kershaw, he never suspected that something was wrong in Game 5 of the World Series:
“I didn’t. It’s so hard to think that when you are in the middle of that. The one thing that is frustrating is ‘hey you should use multiple signs with nobody one base.’ I don’t know what to say other than it is no fun.”
Manager Dave Roberts spoke about the legacies of Kershaw among other last weekend at FanFest. And more importantly, the unfair criticism still following a few players to this day.
Really for me, it goes out to some of the unfair criticism that guys like Clayton [Kershaw] took… Yu [Darvish], and Kenley [Jansen]… I guess ‘frustrating’ is probably the floor of my emotions, but that’s where I’m at.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Kersh with a new fire in his eyes in the upcoming season — all of the Dodgers, in fact. Max Muncy recently spoke about the team’s perceived “World Series hangover” and hurt early in the 2018 season. The revelation of this Astros scandal is the type of thing to galvanize a team as they look to break a 30+-year-old World Series drought.