Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers began their 2023 postseason run in disappointing fashion as Clayton Kershaw turned in a poor start en route to an 11-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
Kershaw only recorded one out in his outing while giving up six runs before he was replaced in the first inning by Emmet Sheehan. Kershaw also walked one hitter, allowed a homer and didn’t collect a single strikeout.
Of the eight batters Kershaw faced, seven hit the ball above 96 mph (95 mph is the qualifying number for a hard-hit ball), and the only batter who didn’t make hard contact, drew the lone walk. The only out recorded came on a ground ball hit at 97 mph.
With just 0.1 innings pitched, it represented the shortest start of the future Hall of Famer’s career, and it was arguably the worst postseason outing of all-time.
“Just disappointing, embarrassing,” Kershaw said after the Dodgers’ blowout loss. “You feel like you left everybody down. Whole organization looks to you to pitch well in Game 1, and it’s just embarrassing really. I just feel like I let everybody down.
“It’s a tough way to start the postseason. Obviously, we still have a chance at this thing, but that wasn’t the way it should’ve started for me.”
The game started off on a sour note when Ketel Marte led off with a line drive to James Outman, who was unable to catch the ball as it bounced out of his glove. The official scorer ruled it a double, but it could have easily been an error on Outman.
Still, Kershaw did not want to put any blame on the rookie center fielder.
“There’s no excuses for that,” Kershaw said. “Regardless of anything that happened out there, I have to be better. That was just not acceptable.”
The D-Backs also came out with an aggressive tone at the plate against Kershaw, swinging early in the count. The first three hitters saw seven pitches combined as all three recorded a hit.
It wasn’t until Christian Walker had a seven pitch at-bat that Kershaw went deep into a count, and it still resulted in a double.
“I think most teams typically swing early against me,” Kershaw said. “I obviously didn’t make some great pitches, and then sometimes I thought I did make some good ones and they hit them. I don’t know what else to say. It’s just tough.”
Is Clayton Kershaw healthy?
Although Kershaw has been pitching through a left shoulder injury, he has not wanted to use that as an excuse. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts added Kershaw felt the best he has in quite some time going into the postseason, and the 35-year-old maintained his stance after the poor outing.
“Yeah, I feel fine,” Kershaw said. “I feel fine. I didn’t make enough good pitches. There’s nothing health-related. Just bad pitching.”
Roberts also said Kershaw would pitch Game 4 of the NLDS if the Dodgers get to that point, and the southpaw added he’ll be good to go for that start.
“Yeah, I’ll be ready,” Kershaw said. “I’ll be ready.”
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