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Clayton Kershaw Finally Gets A Long-Awaited Win

Clayton Kershaw Finally Gets A Long-Awaited Win

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Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning during their game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 19, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

 

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has had a frustrating couple of months.

The lefty hit the 10-day IL in early July with forearm inflammation, but it quickly became apparent that he was going to be on the shelf for much longer than the 10-day minimum.

For more than two months, he had to watch from the dugout as his club fought to stay afloat in the NL West.

That had to be a helpless feeling.

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Fortunately, the veteran returned to action about a week ago.

He made his first start since his IL stint on September 13, and although he pitched well, he wasn’t credited with the win.

However, on Sunday, Kershaw made his second start since returning from the IL, and this time, he did get the victory.

For someone who was sidelined for about 10 weeks, that had to be a good feeling.

Here’s what you need to know.

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Kershaw Looks Has Looked Very Sharp Since Coming Off The Injured List

By his standards, Kershaw’s 2021 season hasn’t been jaw-dropping.

However, since coming off the IL, he has looked very sharp.

In his first outing, he tossed 4.1 innings of one-run ball.

He was on a pitch count but was very efficient, as he needed just 50 pitches to work into the fifth.

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He allowed four hits, one walk, and fanned five.

In his second start, he turned things up a notch.

Though still on a pitch count, he allowed just three baserunners and one run over five innings.

He fanned eight along the way.

As mentioned, he got the win.

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The 33-year-old’s velocity is understandably down since his return from the IL, but he has been locating his pitches exceptionally well.

For a guy with such nasty secondary stuff, location is the most important thing.

Plus, with time, Kershaw’s velocity will probably start to climb back up.

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We’ll see if that happens in time for the postseason.

On the year, Kershaw now has a 3.27 ERA, 2.80 FIP, and 0.97 WHIP.

It’s wild that this is considered a down year for him.

 

Now That Kershaw Is Back, The Dodgers’ Potential Playoff Rotation Is Scary

In many ways, Kershaw’s return is a nightmare for other teams.

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Assuming L.A. makes it past the Wild Card Game, the team is going to have the ability to roll with a four-man rotation (in no particular order) of Kershaw/Max Scherzer/Walker Buehler/Julio Urias.

There are no nights off against a staff like that.

Baseball is certainly unpredictable, but the Dodgers would be heavily favored going into any playoff series as long as that four-man rotation were to stay healthy.

Oddly enough, the biggest challenge for L.A. might be merely making it to a playoff series.

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The team is still alive in the NL West race, but unless the Dodgers find a way to close the gap on the first-place San Francisco Giants, L.A. is going to find itself in a single-elimination Wild Card Game to start the postseason.

Anything can happen in one game.

We’ll have to wait and see how everything unfolds.



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