Clayton Kershaw, the ace pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, had a nightmarish start to the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. His performance lasted a mere eight batters and less than one inning, leaving the fans at Dodger Stadium in utter disbelief. Kershaw, who had been dealing with a tender shoulder injury, was expected to deliver despite his limitations. However, he ended up recording one of the worst starts in postseason history.
An Unfortunate Series of Events
The game started off on a sour note when D-backs second baseman Ketel Marte hit a ball that should have been ruled an error but was instead recorded as a double. This was followed by back-to-back singles from Corbin Carroll and Tommy Pham, and a double from Christian Walker. Gabriel Moreno, in his comeback from being hit in the head by a backswing, then crushed a three-run homer to deepen the Dodgers’ misery. With one out and another walk and double later, Kershaw was pulled from the game, paving the way for rookie Emmet Sheehan.
Clayton Kershaw’s career has been filled with incredible achievements, but this start was one for the record books in all the wrong ways. It was his 454th career start and the first time he had allowed five consecutive hits to open a game. Not only that, but it was also the first time he failed to complete an inning. In fact, only three other starters in postseason history have allowed six-plus runs while recording one out or fewer. This puts Kershaw in the unfortunate company of Dakota Hudson, Mike Foltynewicz, and Gil Heredia.
It’s crucial to note that Kershaw had been pitching through a tender shoulder injury for the last two months of the regular season. Despite the discomfort and a slower fastball, he managed to maintain a 2.23 ERA in his last eight starts. The Dodgers had hoped that Kershaw’s postseason performance would match his regular-season success. However, the toll of his injury became too much to overcome when it mattered most.
The Dodgers now face an uphill battle in the division series against the Diamondbacks after Kershaw’s disastrous start. This unexpected turn of events has left the team and its fans questioning what went wrong and how they can recover. Kershaw, known for his dominance on the mound, will need to regroup and come back stronger in the next game to keep the Dodgers’ postseason hopes alive.
Clayton Kershaw’s postseason nightmare serves as a reminder that even the best athletes can have off days. His limited effectiveness due to a tender shoulder injury proved to be his downfall in Game 1 of the NLDS. The Dodgers and Kershaw will need to learn from this setback and make the necessary adjustments to bounce back in the remainder of the series.