Clayton Kershaw: Padres Outplayed Dodgers In NLDS

The Los Angeles Dodgers getting eliminated by the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series started their offseason much earlier than anticipated and sent the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Trea Turner and others into uncertainty.

Kershaw’s lone appearance in the NLDS was a Game 2 start in which he allowed three runs over six innings. He exited with the game tied and didn’t factor into the decision as the Padres pulled off a win to earn a split at Dodger Stadium.

The Padres kept their momentum rolling when the NLDS shifted to Petco Park, clawing out a win on Friday night before rallying in Game 4 to eliminate the Dodgers. Prior to the NLDS, the Padres had never won two consecutive games against the Dodgers this year.

“It’s always disappointing to lose in the postseason,” Kershaw said. “That’s what makes winning so great and losing so bad. Part of being in the postseason is it’s just abrupt.

“It just ends when you don’t expect it to. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to the Padres. They played really well, had great at-bats the whole series, made big pitches when they had to, and they played better than us. It’s hard to admit sometimes, but that’s the honest truth of it. They just beat us.”

Despite the Dodgers’ struggles to come up with hits when runners were in scoring position, they went into the bottom of the seventh inning with a 3-0 lead. Their bullpen was a strength all season, but the Padres rallied thanks to relief pitchers not being sharp and some good fortune.

“That’s just baseball sometimes. They had great at-bats. I’m not trying to take anything away, but (Austin) Nola, if he hits right to Freddie (Freeman), it’s a double play,” Kershaw said.

“(Ha-Seong) Kim, if it’s six inches closer, (Max) Muncy makes the play. It’s just a game of inches. It’s not like they hit those balls super hard. They just hit them in good places. That’s tough. That’s the way baseball goes sometimes.

“Trayce (Thompson) almost caught that ball in center to make another unbelievable play. It’s just a matter of inches here and there. But yeah, I think hitters kind of feed off each other and gain momentum. T.A. (Tyler Anderson) did an unbelievable job and our guys kind of squashed their momentum the whole night.

“They started feeling it a little bit there and it kind of carried through.”

Now the 34-year-old is weeks away from becoming a free agent for the second consecutive offseason. Kershaw reiterated his plan is to play in 2023 and not retire.

Clayton Kershaw shocked by Dodgers elimination loss

Despite Game 4 being an elimination scenario, Kershaw didn’t figure to factor into the Dodgers pitching plans on short rest. However, he wasn’t viewing that as being the case for a potential Game 5.

“I don’t think any of us expected to lose tonight. I don’t think any of us expected to be going home tomorrow,” Kershaw said.

“I was preparing to being ready to go for the game tomorrow and the next series after that. It’s a weird feeling. It’s no fun no matter when you lose. But at the same time, I think it’s what I said at the beginning of the year, it’s better to be in it than to not be a part of it at all. I’ll always take the opportunity.”

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