Clayton Kershaw’s Struggles Raise Concerns About His Playoff Form

Dodgers' Ace Facing Challenges in Late-Season Return

Clayton Kershaw, the ace pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hasn’t been the dominating force fans are accustomed to seeing since his return from the injured list in August. While he’s managed to limit run production over five starts, advanced statistics paint a less favorable picture.

In his most recent outing against the Miami Marlins, Kershaw’s fastball averaged a mere 88.6 miles per hour, and his pitches lacked their usual sharpness. Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts acknowledged that Kershaw’s shoulder still isn’t at peak condition, but the determined pitcher is set to take the mound again, albeit with a few extra days of rest this week. These unexpected challenges have left Kershaw visibly frustrated.

In a glimmer of hope, Dodger pitching coach Mark Prior shared his insights with the OC Register, revealing that he believes he has pinpointed a mechanical flaw in Kershaw’s delivery. Lance Lynn, the newest addition to the LA roster, echoed a similar sentiment, explaining that Kershaw is still working to regain his top form after a lengthy 45-day layoff. The next opportunity to assess Kershaw’s progress will be in Seattle this coming Friday.

With just three weeks remaining in the regular season, both the Dodgers organization and their devoted fan base are anxiously awaiting signs of improvement in Kershaw’s performance. The hope is that Prior’s diagnosis and guidance will help Kershaw regain his dominating presence before the playoffs.

“There’s some stuff in the delivery that hopefully will free him up to maximize and get his timing back,” Prior said. “I think so much of it is a timing situation. I think that’s where you get into a situation where guys who’ve had – whether it’s elbow or shoulder or anything, in the middle of a season you’re trying to come back and you do things because you feel fine but you just don’t know subconsciously what you might have tweaked to get back to that point.

Via OC Register

The uncertainties surrounding Kershaw’s return have sparked conversations among baseball enthusiasts. Many are questioning whether the renowned pitcher can regain his peak form in time to contribute significantly in the postseason. Kershaw’s performance has always been crucial to the Dodgers’ success, and his struggles have raised concerns about their playoff prospects.

“I thought he had some moments the other day,” Prior continued, “but clearly his stuff wasn’t what it’s been in the past. I think it’s just kind of a byproduct of where he’s at right now and kind of working through some things and working through some things with his delivery where his timing is just a little bit off. We talked about a couple little adjustments with his delivery, trying to put him back in those positions that hopefully frees him up a little bit. The caveat with Clayton is that his delivery is so consistent that these are things that are on the margins that hopefully pay dividends. But we won’t know until he gets into his next start.”

As the regular season winds down, all eyes will be on Clayton Kershaw. Can he overcome these obstacles, recover his dominating self, and lead the Dodgers to postseason glory once again? The answers to these questions will shape the remainder of the season and determine the Dodgers’ playoff fate.

Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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