Dodgers: Longtime L.A. Ace in a ‘Great’ Spot Heading Into the Postseason

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Clayton Kershaw are very encouraged by the pitcher’s health and effectiveness as they head into a (hopefully) long postseason.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw ended 2021 in the worst possible way: walking off the mound with an elbow injury in the final weekend of the regular season, causing him to miss the entire postseason and throw his entire future into doubt.

This year, things are looking much brighter for Kershaw. He’s had two stints on the injured list because of minor back issues, but when he’s been on the mound, he’s been almost as good as ever, posting a 2.42 and a 10-3 record in 20 starts this year.

After his most recent start on Saturday, in which he went six strong innings and allowed just two runs, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was very encouraged by where Kershaw is as the team heads into October.

“It’s great, it’s great,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of having a healthy Kershaw ahead of the postseason. “For him to take that three-week little blow (on the IL) and get him back and throw the baseball the way he has since coming back – much needed. And it’s really good to see.”

Kershaw will always see room for improvement in his game, but he’s feeling very good physically, which is the most important thing at this point.

“I feel good. So physically, check that box,” Kershaw said. “I feel like I’ve been able to bounce back pretty good. This was my first start on regular rest. I feel pretty good coming out of it too. So physically, no complaints there. This was a good test. I’ve faced a few good teams in there. Performance-wise, there’s obviously things I would like to do better. But overall, I think it’s been pretty good.”

The Dodgers have been very careful with Kershaw all season. In his first start of the year, Kershaw threw seven perfect innings in Minnesota, but Roberts stuck to the game plan and removed Kersh from the game with the perfect game still intact. And when Kershaw went on the IL in August with back issues, L.A. left him there for a few weeks after he felt like he was ready to go. All of this is with their ultimate goal in mind, of winning the last game of the postseason in early November.

There are no guarantees in baseball, no matter what Roberts says, but it’s definitely the most prudent course for trying to get a full postseason out of Kershaw. Thirty-four is old by baseball standards, and with Kershaw’s injury history, they’ve done everything with the goal of getting him into October fresh and healthy, and it looks like it is going to work.

Read More 

Back to top button