2017 World Series: Clayton Kershaw Praises Dodgers For Effort Shown In Game 5 Loss To Astros
Clayton Kershaw
Shanna Lockwood/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers provided Clayton Kershaw with a 3-0 lead in the first inning of Game 5 of the World Series, and tacked on another run in the fourth. Their ace retired the first six batters with relative ease.

Evan Gattis then broke up the perfect game with a leadoff single. But a double play and groundout followed, and Kershaw had faced the minimum through three innings. That was the final time on the night in which the three-time Cy Young Award winner looked his usual self.

Kershaw suddenly lost his command and walked George Springer to start the bottom of the fourth. He managed to retire Alex Bregman but gave up a base hit to Jose Altuve. Carlos Correa fought off an inside fastball for an RBI double down the left-field line.

A slider to Yulieski Gurriel leaked out over the plate, and he crushed a three-run home run over the Crawford Boxes. Houston erased their 4-0 deficit in the blink of an eye.

Kershaw got through the inning but suffered from similar lack of command in the fifth. He was removed after walking Springer and Bregman with two outs. Kenta Maeda surrendered a three-run home run to Altuve that offset the Dodgers’ three-run top of the fifth inning.

Following the loss in extra innings, a despondent Kershaw described his rough night and praised the Dodgers for their resilience, via Spectrum SportsNet LA:

“It’s a tough one, no doubt about it. Everybody did as much as they possibly could to pick me up. It’s a testament to our team, they battled really hard. It’s obviously a tough one to lose. … I just lost my command in the fourth inning, and that was all it took.”

The extra-innings loss was a second in the series for the Dodgers, with both games coming when Kenley Jansen allowed either the tying or winning run to score. His blown save in Game 2 was the first in the postseason of Jansen’s career.

As for Kershaw, he’d continued to further chip away at the stigma he was incapable of pitching under the postseason spotlight. Entering Game 5, he was 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA, and the Dodgers had won each of his four starts this October.

The home run allowed to Gurriel was Kershaw’s eighth, which broke an MLB record for most in a single postseason.