After a brutal stretch of eleven straight losses just about a week ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be back on track, with their magic number being just three to clinch the NL West. The Dodgers are 4-2 in their last six games and it looks as if things are back to normal for the juggernaut that the entire baseball world knows they are.
However, many are wondering if a certain pitcher named Clayton Kershaw is ready for a long postseason run. Kershaw has had an injury filled year but the numbers are still incredible. Let’s not take anything away from Kershaw: he owns a 17-4 record with a 2.26 ERA on the season. He is still putting up historic numbers and is poised to make some serious noise once October arrives.
The Dodgers faced the Philadelphia Phillies on September 18 with Kershaw on the mound. After scoring two in the top of the first, Los Angeles already liked their chances in the game against a Phillies team that has been looking forward to next year since before the All-Star Game. After a walk issued to Phillies’ rookie sensation Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Altherr took Kershaw deep, resulting in a grand slam. This was monumental because it was the first grand slam ever given up by Kershaw. In nearly 2000.0 IP, the first grand slam given up by Kershaw should actually be an important stat because it is challenging to go that long without giving up a grand slam. It should be an accomplishment for Kershaw.
Obviously, Clayton Kershaw simply can’t be giving up home runs in the postseason, especially grand slams. Kershaw knows that he must be better once October arrives. Although it was his first grand slam that he’d ever given up, it especially concerning coming from a team like the Philadelphia Phillies. It makes Dodgers fans wonder what other teams could do against their ace. It may put some fans into panic mode and rightfully so. Other National League powerhouses in the Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nations, Chicago Cubs, and possibly the Colorado Rockies are headed for the postseason and they are all aware of what Clayton Kershaw can do.
Kershaw must also be on alert once he realizes that superstars Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Jake Lamb, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant could all be headed his way, depending on postseason outcomes. If Clayton Kershaw can lock down and pitch like he has his entire career, the Los Angeles Dodgers should be in great shape throughout the postseason. He also has a solid pitching staff behind him including Yu Darvish, Rich Hill and Alex Wood. If they can perform like the baseball world knows they can, they can cause some serious damage in October.
Clayton Kershaw must have a quick memory on the mound and forget about the grand slam he gave up. He must not let that happen again, especially in the postseason. He knows he can be absolutely brilliant on the mound and his team is going to need him to be. It’ll be interesting to see if his confidence is shaken up at all, or if he’s only getting started for a potential historic run in the postseason.
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