Clayton Kershaw Believes Days Off Prior To NLDS Posed Challenge For Dodgers’ Hitters

Originally published by

The Los Angeles Dodgers were swept in hasty fashion in the National League Division Series at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks after a disappointing performance was capped off with a 4-2 loss.

The 100-win regular season from the Dodgers masked a lot of the depth concerns from the starting rotation, but after securing the second seed in the NL, they had time to line up their best bets. Clayton Kershaw started Game 1 and turned in the worst start of his career, allowing six earned runs while recording just one out.

Bobby Miller and Lance Lynn failed to provide bulk innings while also failing to limit runs, which put immense pressure on the offense after surrendering early leads. It wasn’t until the start of Game 3 when Mookie Betts took the first at-bat for a Dodgers’ hitter when they weren’t already losing by multiple runs.

The Dodgers were statistically the worst offensive team in the NLDS, and perhaps the 2023 playoffs as a whole. A red-hot offense in the regular season went ice-cold when they needed to produce the most. With all 100-win teams being eliminated from the playoffs already, it set up questions about how the days off during the Wild Card round affect a team moving forward.

“Look, it’s hard,” Kershaw said. “I mean, pitching maybe not so much, but obviously offensively, these guys are so used to playing every day. So I get it, extra teams and more money, all that stuff. I get it. But I do think that, I mean I’m not a hitter, but it does seem like it’s a bit of a challenge for guys.

“It’s not an excuse, though. I mean, at the end of the day, we had a good opportunity. And we should have won two out of three or three out of five.”

Max Muncy echoed a lot of what Kershaw had to say in that playing right away would be better than taking days off.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had the same thought following last year’s collapse to the San Diego Padres in the NLDS, but fell in line with what many of his roster believed can be quelled by simply playing better as a whole.

How drastic were the Dodgers offensive issues in the NLDS?

After outscoring the Diamondbacks by a wide margin in the regular season, the Dodgers offense mustered just six runs through 27 postseason innings.

Betts and Freeman were at the front of the offensive woes while the entire Dodgers’ lineup registered 17 total hits in the series. They posted the lowest totals in runs scored, hits, home runs, RBI, and on-base plus slugging.

For comparison, the Texas Rangers swept the Baltimore Orioles in three games. As a team, they combined for 30 hits, five home runs, 20 RBI, with an .878 OPS over the course of 106 at-bats.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!