Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Clayton Kershaw was unable to pitch in the 2021 MLB postseason and his future with the Los Angeles Dodgers was in some doubt due to the left elbow injury and entering free agency.
The MLB lockout wound up proving to be of benefit for Kershaw, who didn’t start throwing until the beginning of 2022. Once a new collective bargaining agreement was in place, he agreed to re-sign with the Dodgers on a one-year contract.
Assertions from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts that Kershaw was healthy heading into the season were quickly proven true as the veteran southpaw dazzled in his 2022 debut.
Kershaw got through seven perfect innings before being removed due to pitch count. Roberts drew criticism for the decision but had the support of Kershaw.
His next outing wasn’t quite as successful, but Kershaw closed out April with back-to-back starts of only allowing one earned run each time. He followed that with seven scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs, only to then be put on the 15-day injured list due to right SI joint inflammation.
The injury sidelined Kershaw for one month but he remained healthy until leaving an August start because of lower back trouble. That caused Kershaw to miss nearly another month, which still left him with time to build up for the postseason.
Prior to the the right SI joint inflammation injury, Kershaw took a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels. He settled for a one-hitter over a dominant eight shutout innings.
Kershaw became the first pitcher since 1961 to have a perfect game through at least seven innings in two starts during the same season.
Even with the two IL stints, Kershaw enjoyed a renaissance season that saw him go 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over 22 starts.
Clayton Kershaw 2022 highlight
As Kershaw continues to set career milestones, he captured a remarkable record on April 30 at Dodger Stadium against the Detroit Tigers.
With strikeouts in consecutive innings of Detroit’s Dustin Garneau and top prospect Spencer Torkelson, Kershaw broke the legendary Don Sutton’s long-standing Dodgers franchise record for strikeouts with his 2,697th career K.
A few months later, Kershaw took the mound at Dodger Stadium as the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game. Pitching for one inning, it was Kershaw’s first time starting in his ninth overall Midsummer Classic nod.
Signed to a one-year, $20 million contract with a $5 million signing bonus, Kershaw is set to take the mound for his 15th season with the Dodgers.
Before Kershaw takes the mound in the regular season for L.A. he will represent the United States of America in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
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