After losing the opening game of the National League Division Series against the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers must regroup as a collective unit if they hope to even the series.
Although Clayton Kershaw received the loss in the game, the Dodgers’ ace put forth another quality outing, only to unravel a bit at the end. For the night, Kershaw threw 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs, while striking out 11 and walking four.
During the post game interview, the 27-year-old was quick to give credit where credit was due. Although Kershaw kept his team in the game and received little offensive support, Jacob deGrom turned in a stellar outing for the Mets. “I got out-pitched. That’s the basically moral of the story. Jake [deGrom] pitched an amazing game,” Kershaw said.
“We battled and got deep in some counts, got his pitch count up there, but he out-pitched me. Plain and simple.” The three-time Cy Young Award winner was pulled after issuing three walks in the seventh inning.
With the bases loaded, manager Don Mattingly elected to replace Kershaw with Pedro Baez, explaining the decision as one tied to David Wright’s success against left-handed pitchers. When asked if he was disappointed with getting removed, Kershaw said, “I put myself in that spot, so not much room for arguing after you put yourself in that situation.”
Overall, the reigning National League MVP was generally pleased with his outing. A.J. Ellis shared a similar sentiment, saying, “Clayton, I thought was really rolling well, had a good rhythm, good grove going and everything was really working well.”
“Mets had a good approach and they really grinded him well, but almost all night long Clayton was able to overcome it and make really big pitches,” Ellis continued. “Really wanted Clayton to finish that inning and get Curtis out. That inning kind of steamrolled for us.”
Kershaw was particularly hurt by left-handed batters, which is unusual when considering he typically overpowers them. “The lefties had a good approach. Obviously, Murphy put a good swing on the ball. I felt a little more comfortable against righties tonight,” Kershaw stated.
“I don’t face that many lefties usually, so I’m not worried about it. Basically, you just tip your cap to them. That’s probably the best thing to do.”
When asked if he would be available to pitch Game 4, Kershaw quickly sidestepped and said everyone will need to wait and see. He followed that by also expressing a strong desire to get another start in the series.