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The Dodgers’ defeatists left in droves after losing the first game, already abandoning the series. And while the Game 1 loss was frustrating and disappointing, the fact is that the Dodgers are down 1-0 in the series. They were 1-0 in the NLDS last year and lost that series. This year’s team faced adversity all season long and bounced back, and there’s no reason they can’t do it again. The 1981 Dodgers were always one step away from postseason elimination, but they won it all.
The 1959 Dodgers lost Game 1 of the World Series 11-0. They won the World Cup. Magic Johnson pointed out that the Lakers lost Game 1 of the 1985 NBA Finals 148-114, and most fans were ready to give Boston the title outright. The Lakers won the title. And there are many other examples.
That doesn’t guarantee this team will win. Hell, they could get swept away. However, giving up after one match is definitely too premature.
But let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the poor performance Clayton Kershaw.
Some random thoughts:
— Kershaw managed to enter the record books once again. He is the first starting pitcher to give up five runs and five hits without recording an out in postseason history. So it suits him.
– He was throwing batting drills there. The fastball wasn’t fast, the slider didn’t slide. By the time the national anthem ended, it was 5-0.
—He was booed when he was removed from the game, and there’s really no reason to boo Kershaw as he’s throwing with a shoulder injury.
– It’s funny, Dodgers fans were furious about this a few seasons ago Max Scherzer he wouldn’t agree to start an important postseason game because he said he had a dead arm. He was called weak and a loser. “He wasn’t a team player.” Now Kershaw comes out injured and asks, “Why is he even throwing?” “He needs to think about the team first, not put himself out there.”
— When Kershaw walked off the mound Saturday, I thought, “He doesn’t need to start another postseason this year.” He looked so bad.
— But he’ll start Game 4, if there is one.
“There are certain people who bring you here and they have to get you to the finish line and that is his role in our football club.” Dave Roberts said Sunday. “I know for us to get what we want this year, we’re going to need Clayton Kershaw to start the baseball games. I have all the confidence in the world that he can do it and everything will be fine. For me this is the best option and I consider it the only option.
– Really, what options do the Dodgers have? Bobby Miller he’s going tonight. It’s either Lance Lynn Or Ryan Pepiot in game 3. There is none Walker Buehler, Dustin Maya Or Julio Urías. Ryan Yarbrough not on the list. Emmet Sheehan He gave up three runs in 3.2 innings on Saturday. So game 4 is Lynn or Pepiot or Kershaw or Michael Grove or playing in the bullpen.
— Honestly, if Pepiot is available, I could go with him.
— Kershaw, on the other hand, was their best starter in September with a 2.33 ERA. Next best starter? Pepiot.
— To Kershaw’s credit, he took full responsibility for this loss. He didn’t put it on his shoulders. He answered every question asked him. He did not hide from the media and did not avoid questions. He said it was terrible. Many athletes would find an excuse for such a start; he did not do it. You have to respect that.
— It’s easy to sit on the couch and say, “Don’t start with him again.” But I don’t have to look Kershaw in the eye, a guy who has meant so much to my team’s success, and tell him he’s had enough. Everything is much easier on my couch, where all my decisions fall into place perfectly.
The other problem is that if this was just one postseason mistake in an otherwise illustrious postseason career, it would be easy to overlook. However, Kershaw has traditionally struggled in the postseason. Kershaw made 32 starts and pitched 194.1 postseason innings. That’s about the same as the entire season. Let’s take a look at how these numbers compare to Kershaw’s corresponding regular season innings.
13-13, 4.49 ERA, 194.1 innings, 165 hits, 30 homers, 51 walks, 213K.
15-6, 2.48 ERA, 194.1 innings, 147 hits, 16 homers, 47 walks, 211K.
How does Kershaw compare to other great pitchers? Let’s take a look at the postseason stats for pitchers who won more than one Cy Young Award.
Sandy Koufax, 4-3, 0.95 ERA
Bob Gibson, 7-2, 1.89 ERA
Roy Halladay, 3-2, 2.37 days
Tim Lincecum, 5-2, 2.40 days
Jim Palmer, 8-3, 2.61 ERA
Tom Seaver, 3-3, 2.77 ERA
Jacob deGrom, 4-1, 2.90 ERA
Denny McLain, 1-2, 3.24 ERA
Steve Carlton, 6-6, 3.26 ERA
Greg Maddux, 11-14, 3.27 ERA
Tom Glavine, 14-16, 15:30 ERA
Pedro Martinez, 6-4, 3.46 ERA
Randy Johnson, 7-9, 3.50 ERA
Justin Verlander, 17-11, 3.54 ERA
Max Scherzer, 7-7, 3.58 ERA
Roger Clemens, 12-8, 3.75 ERA
Corey Kluber, 4-4, 4.02 ERA
Johan Santana, 1-3, 3.97 ERA
Clayton Kershaw, 13-13, 4.49 ERA
Bret Saberhagen, 2-4, 4.67 ERA
Gaylord Perry, 1-1, 6.14 days
—Would the match have been different if James Outman caught that line drive that hit him with the first batter? Yes Yes. The Dodgers would lose 10-2 instead of 11-2.
— The Braves and Orioles also lost their opening games (and the Orioles also lost Game 2), so all three favorites to win the World Series lose.
— Some blame the fact that the top two seeds in each league were given five days off before the start of the postseason, which left them rusty. Last year, the top two NL seeds lost in the NLDS, but the top two AL seeds advanced.
— And for those who demand a return to just four teams in each league making the playoffs to eliminate five days off, that won’t happen. In any case, MLB would expand the postseason to eight teams in each league, just like in 2020.
— Lost in Kershaw’s bluster is the fact that the offense only got four hits. I won’t win many games this way.
— Note to Dodgers: When you’re down 11-0 and you finally have a runner in scoring position, maybe you shouldn’t do the Freddie dance.
So let’s move on to Game 2. The Dodgers’ hopes rest on the rookie’s shoulder Bobby Miller. No pressure.
Would you start Clayton Kershaw in Game 4? Vote here.
Arizona vs. Bobby Miller, for life
Gabriel Moreno, 2 for 3, 1 double, 1 homer, 3 RBI
Geraldo Perdomo, 2 for 4, 1 double
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., 2 for 4, 1 double, 1 RBI
Alec Thomas, 2 for 5
Jace Peterson, 1 for 5
Tommy Pham, 1 for 6
Christian Walker, 1 for 6
Corbin Carroll, 0 for 6
Ketel Marte, 0 for 5
José Herrera, 0 for 1
Dodgers vs. Zac Gallen, for life
Miguel Rojas, 2 for 4, 1 double
Will Smith, .375/.412/.563, 6 for 16, 1 double, 1 triple, 3 RBI
Austin Barnes, 2 for 6, 1 double, 1 RBI
James Outman, 1 of 3, 1 homer, 1 RBI
JD Martinez, 1 for 3, 1 RBI
Mookie Betts, .278/.381/.500, 5-for-18, 1 double, 1 homer, 2 RBI
Freddie Freeman, .200/.200/.400, 3 for 15, 1 homer, 1 RBI
David Peralta, 1 out of 5
Max Muncy, .174/.296/.348, 4 for 23, 1 double, 1 homer, 3 RBI
Chris Taylor, .143/.200/.357, 2 for 14, 1 homer, 1 RBI
Kiké Hernández, .143/.143/.286, 2 for 14, 2 doubles, 2 RBI
Jason Heyward, 1-for-8, 1 homer, 2 RBI
Kolten Wong, 1 for 8, 1 homer, 1 RBI
Game 1: Arizona 11, Dodgers 2
Tonight at Arizona (Zac Gallen, 17-9, 3:47 ERA) at Dodgers (Bobby Miller, 11-4, 3:76 ERA), 18:00
Wednesday in Arizona, 6 p.m
* Thursday in Arizona, 6 p.m
*Saturday at Dodgers, 6:20 p.m
*-If it is necessary
All games will be available on the TBS platform.
In case you missed it
Hernández: Why would the Dodgers re-hire Clayton Kershaw? Because they have no other choice
Elliott: Ominous start highlights the Dodgers’ weak spots after a Game 1 loss
Shaikin: Dodgers could be in for another early winter if bats don’t come alive
Will the real Dodgers stand up? | Dodgers debate
“It’s just embarrassing.” Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers showed no mercy after losing the first game
Plaschke: Clayton Kershaw’s dream start turns into another playoff nightmare
Clayton Kershaw on losing NLDS Game 1
Pre-Game 2 palate cleanser. Danny Kaye sings his Dodgers song. Watch and listen here.
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