2023 NLDS: Clayton Kershaw Named Dodgers Starting Pitcher For Game 1

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bobby Miller is expected to start Game 2 on Monday.

Kershaw is making his sixth career start in a Dodgers postseason opener — each of which has come in the NLDS — but his first since 2017. The left-hander recently said he is grateful for the opportunity as it didn’t always appear he would be able to take the mound in October.

Kershaw is navigating an unspecified left shoulder injury that has affected his fastball velocity and command for most of the second half. He was sidelined for roughly six weeks before rejoining the Dodgers on August 10.

Since then, Kershaw has posted a solid 2.23 ERA in eight starts. The 35-year-old has exclusively started on Saturdays since September 16 in effort to manage his shoulder issue.

Kershaw went an overall 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 1.06 WHIP and 9.4 strikeouts per nine in 131.2 innings pitched across 24 starts during the 2023 season, which was his highest total since 2019.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner owns a 22-12 record, 2.73 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 9.9 strikeouts per nine in 44 career starts against the Diamondbacks. In three outings against Arizona this season, Kershaw went 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.12 WHIP across 17 innings pitched.

With Kershaw starting the NLDS opener on Saturday, it lines him up to potentially take the ball if it extends to a Game 4. However, that would entail starting on regular rest, which Kershaw has not done since going on the 15-day injured list earlier this season.

Clayton Kershaw ‘turning a corner health-wise’

Kershaw recently praised the Dodgers for their approach of giving him extra rest between starts and believes the strategy lent to an improvement with his health.

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