In a postseason marked by uncertainty, the spotlight falls on Clayton Kershaw’s shocking collapse during Game 1 of the National League Division Series. Let’s break down this unfolding saga in a FAQ style to understand how the Dodgers’ pitching fiasco has reached this critical juncture.
Why is Clayton Kershaw pitching again?
The decision to send Kershaw back on the mound for Game 4 might seem puzzling after his disastrous Game 1 performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kershaw retired only one batter, giving up six runs and six hits. His shoulder injury was painfully evident in his diminished velocity and the rockets launched by the Diamondbacks.
So, why the insistence on Kershaw’s return?
The truth is, the Dodgers’ predicament leaves them with limited alternatives. Their bullpen options, like Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove, are rookies, and starting them in a high-stakes playoff game isn’t an appealing choice. Substituting Kershaw with Ryan Yarbrough, an injury replacement, would also jeopardize his eligibility for the NL Championship Series.
How effective can Kershaw be now?
Given his shoulder troubles, Kershaw might be limited to pitching just three or four innings in the postseason. However, the Dodgers recognize the importance of every inning as they chase a World Series victory. The team’s primary starter, Bobby Miller, isn’t expected to pitch more than five innings.
What’s the Dodgers’ plan for Game 3 and beyond?
In Game 3, the Dodgers are relying on Lance Lynn and Ryan Pepiot to cover the early innings of a bullpen game. While they might not need extended innings from Kershaw to defeat the Diamondbacks, the picture changes in a best-of-seven NLCS or the World Series. Building an early lead becomes paramount.
Is this strategy risky for the Dodgers?
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman admits that the Dodgers’ heavy reliance on their bullpen is unconventional and, notably, unprecedented for a World Series champion. The effectiveness of their back-end bullpen is unquestionable, but it’s essential to establish an early lead for it to make a difference.
In summary, Clayton Kershaw’s return underlines the Dodgers’ pitching fiasco, born out of necessity rather than choice. The Dodgers face an uphill battle in the postseason, relying on a compromised Kershaw and a bullpen-heavy strategy. The ultimate test will be whether they can secure a World Series victory under these unconventional circumstances.
Dodgers’ Strategies for Playoff Success
What happened Clayton Kershaw?
Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ ace, endured a nightmarish outing during Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With his eyes downcast, he sat in the dugout, eventually burying his head in his hands. In a shocking collapse, he managed to retire just one batter while conceding six runs. The result was an emphatic 11-2 loss for the Dodgers. This performance left fans and analysts alike pondering: What happened to Clayton Kershaw?
Why did Kershaw leave game early?
In a quest to provide a strong start for his team at home, Kershaw faced a tumultuous inning, yielding six runs, including a crushing three-run homer. This performance prompted manager Dave Roberts to make the bold decision of pulling the 35-year-old pitcher from the game prematurely. The question remains: Why did Kershaw leave the game early?
Is Kershaw good in the playoffs?
Did Clayton Kershaw’s recent performance in the playoffs affect his postseason track record? Unfortunately, yes. His latest outing inflated his postseason ERA, elevating it from 4.22 to 4.49 over a span of 194⅓ innings. This figure is notably two runs higher than his impressive regular-season ERA of 2.48. Remarkably, it also positions him with the highest postseason ERA among the 31 pitchers in major league history who have logged over 100 innings in playoff games.
How many playoff games has Kershaw lost?
How many playoff games has Clayton Kershaw lost during his postseason career? While Kershaw has been a dominant force during the regular season, his playoff statistics paint a different picture. Over 39 postseason appearances, including 32 starts, he has recorded 13 wins and 11 losses. These numbers are accompanied by a 4.49 ERA across 194.1 innings—equivalent to an entire regular season’s workload.
How many runs did Kershaw give up?
How many runs did Clayton Kershaw give up in his disastrous Game 1 performance during the NLDS? Kershaw allowed a staggering six runs and managed to record just one out in the ill-fated 11-2 loss to the D-backs. This outing is widely regarded as one of the worst starts in his career, marking a historic low point as he became the first pitcher in postseason history to concede five or more runs before securing an out.
Who has the best batting average against Clayton Kershaw?
Who boasts the best batting average against Clayton Kershaw in their career? Astonishingly, 22 players share the top spot with a perfect 1.000 batting average. Among them, the first three are Óscar Mercado, Brendan Donovan, and Willi Castro. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also joins this elite group.