Major League Baseball (MLB) living legend Clayton Kershaw (35, LA Dodgers) created the first-ever record in the postseason. However, it was not a welcome record.
Kershaw appeared as a starting pitcher in Game 1 of the 2023 National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, USA on the 8th (Korean time).
From the beginning, Kershaw received one hit after another. In the top of the first inning, he hit a double to center field from leadoff hitter Ketel Marte, and then hit a timely hit in the middle from Corbin Carroll in the second, recording his first run. Then, with consecutive hits by Tommy Pham (single) and Christian Walker (double), Arizona scored two runs first.
But Arizona’s onslaught showed no signs of stopping. Number 5 Gabriel Moreno, who came to bat with no outs on second and third base, hit Kershaw’s slider to the inside after a full count, and hit a three-run home run over the left wall. Moreno stared at the batted ball as if he sensed a home run, and Kershaw lowered his head.
Kershaw got his first out after giving No. 6 Louerdes Gurriel Jr. a ground ball to shortstop, giving him 5 points. However, Alec Thomas was sent out on a walk after an eight-pitch game, and center fielder James Outman failed to make a diving catch on veteran Evan Longoria’s hit to left-center, allowing Thomas to home, and Kershaw’s runs increased.
In the end, the Dodgers removed Kershaw from the mound after just ⅓ innings. Kershaw, who entered the dugout, lowered his head and appeared to blame himself. It was the worst pitch, so that kind of reaction is understandable.
On this day, Kershaw collapsed with 6 hits (1 home run), 1 walk, and 6 runs in ⅓ innings (35 pitches). The Dodgers, whose trusted starting pitcher gave the worst pitch, were also shaken by rookie Emmett Sheehan (24), who took the mound next, allowing a solo shot to Carroll in the top of the second inning, giving up three runs. Arizona succeeded in confirming the kill with solo shots from Thomas in the 7th and Pam in the 8th. The Dodgers scored late in the bottom of the 8th inning with Will Smith’s 2-RBI triple, but ended up losing 2-11.메이저놀이터
Kershaw set several records that day. According to ESPN Stats & Info This account confirmed Kershaw’s death, saying, “No relief pitcher has ever done something like this.”
It’s not just this. According to OPTA, a sports statistics company, Kershaw was the third player in history to allow more than 6 runs while pitching less than ⅓ innings in the Major League Playoffs. In the National League, it was the first record in four years since Atlanta’s Mike Foltinevich (7 runs, 6 earned runs in ⅓ innings) in Game 4 of the Division Series in 2019.
Even looking at the history of the Dodgers, it is rare to see a starting pitcher be eliminated so quickly in the postseason. According to The Athletic’s statistics expert Jason Stock, Kershaw was the fourth time in Dodgers history that a starter went down with one out or less in fall baseball. However, none of the previous three times allowed as many runs as Kershaw did.
Kershaw himself and the Dodgers were shocked by the poor pitching. According to American media outlet Sportsnet LA, Kershaw reportedly blamed himself, saying, “I let everyone down.” He said with a dark expression, “I shouldn’t have pitched as a starter like that.” He responded that he was “embarrassed,” but when asked about his shoulder injury, he insisted that it was not a health issue, saying, “I’m fine.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also confessed his feelings after seeing Kershaw’s pitch, saying, “I was shocked.” Still, he never lost faith in Kershaw. Manager Roberts declared, “The plan is not changing. Kershaw will be the starting pitcher in Game 4.”
Kershaw, who debuted in the big leagues in 2008, achieved a career record of 210 wins, 92 losses, and an ERA of 2.48. He is a ‘living legend’ who has won all the honors a pitcher can receive, including MVP, Cy Young Award, Warren Spahn Award, and All-Star. However, he has a poor record of 13 wins, 13 losses, and an average ERA of 4.49 in 13 postseason games, including today’s game. At this point, the ‘Kershaw fall slump’ may be a science.