Although it wasn’t a postseason start, Clayton Kershaw took the mound Saturday under plenty of watchful eyes as he faced the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time since Game 4 of the 2014 National League Division Series.
Kershaw more than answered the bell, putting forth his best performance of the season and continuing with some of the momentum he’d generated in his previous three starts. After getting Peter Bourjos to foul out for the first out of the game, Kershaw stared down Matt Carpenter, who’s had success in his career against the left-hander.
Carpenter fell behind 0-2 before fouling off a couple of pitches and ultimately reaching on a hit by pitch. As it turned out, that, along with a Randal Grichuk one-out single in the second inning, were the only blemishes of the night for Kershaw.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace resembled the pitcher he was for much of last season, collecting 11 strikeouts over a season high eight innings. To no surprise, Kershaw downplayed picking up a win over the Cardinals and instead focused on the overall result. He credited his success to have a strong curveball-slider combination working, and A.J. Ellis thought it was the best Kershaw has executed all season.