Kershaw comes up big for Dodgers

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Updated: October 14, 2015

For a brief moment last night, it looked like it might happen again to Clayton Kershaw.

No matter how smooth the sailing has been in some of his prior postseason starts, all it has taken is something minimal to occur to completely shift the momentum against the big lefty. When Kershaw was unable to field an ‘excuse me’ infield hit off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes to lead off the 7th inning, Dodger fans began to fear that the unraveling would soon commence.

LA still held a 3-1 lead at the time, but the New York fans were in such a frenzy that it almost felt like they would will their team to a few runs and take the series, sparking more stories about Kershaw coming up small in the big moments.

This time however, there wouldn’t be an implosion. With the tying run coming up to the plate, Kershaw managed to escape by inducing a pop out to first, fly ball to center, and then getting some help from Justin Turner on a hard hit ball to third. And just like that, his night was done.

It was a masterful performance by Kershaw, who gave up only three hits while striking out eight on three days rest. He had all three of his top pitches working, and time has proven that when this is the case he is virtually impossible to beat. Eliminating a few playoff demons for the moment was great for Kershaw on a personal level, but more importantly, he helped his team force a decisive game five back home in Los Angeles on Thursday.

With his skill and pedigree, eventually you’d think Kershaw will go on a 2001 Randy Johnson or 2003 Josh Beckett type of postseason run. Whether this is the start of such a run this October all depends on how Zack Greinke performs tomorrow night, but conceivably he could get another handful of starts that will help shift the narrative of his playoff legacy once and for all.

 

 

 

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