Baseball’s postseason begins this week, and by the time the National League Divisional Series get under way Friday, Oct. 6 on TBS, all eyes will be on the Los Angeles Dodgers and pitching ace Clayton Kershaw. After being sidelined with another back injury for part of the summer, Kershaw returned to the Dodgers’ rotation in early September, and the Dodgers are hoping he can overcome the ghosts of postseasons past and help propel them to what would be their first World Series appearance since they won it all in 1988.
The Dodgers drafted Kershaw in 2006, and by 2008 he was part of the rotation. In no time he became one of the dominant starting pitchers in the game. Among the accolades are three National League Cy Young Awards, pitching’s triple crown and a Gold Glove in 2011, a no-hitter in 2014; and two humanitarian awards, the Roberto Clemente Award in 2012 and the Branch Rickey Award in 2013. He’s also appeared in every All-Star game since 2011.
Kershaw, however, has struggled in the postseason. He’s 4-7 in 14 starts, and in the 18 games he’s pitched in has a 4.55 ERA over 89 innings. Last season he went 2-1 in the postseason and actually recorded a save, but was shelled by the Chicago Cubs in Game 6 of the NLCS, when the Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs. Still, a healthy Kershaw and a Dodgers team that has put together one of the best seasons on record is bad news for their playoff opponents.
Clayton Edward Kershaw
Born: March 19, 1988
Birthplace: Dallas, TX
Height/Weight: 6 foot 4 inches/228 pounds
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers (2008 – present)
Position: Starting pitcher
Honors and Achievements: NL Cy Young Award, 2011, 2013, 2014; All-Star, 2011–2017; Pitched a
no-hitter on June 18, 2014