Clayton Kershaw Hopes Dodgers Reflect & Learn From NLDS Loss To Padres

After missing the 2021 MLB postseason due to a left elbow injury, Clayton Kershaw was looking to help the Los Angeles Dodgers get back to the World Series mountaintop in 2022.

The Dodgers were coming off a historic regular season where they won a franchise-record 111 games, which made them the World Series favorites as they entered the playoffs against a San Diego Padres team they dominated throughout the regular season.

L.A. jumped out with a 1-0 series lead in the National League Division Series, but things then fell apart as they lost three consecutive games to end their season.

After the season was over, Kershaw was among many Dodgers free agents, but he decided to return on a one-year contract rather than join his hometown Texas Rangers. But where he would be playing in 2023 wasn’t the only thing on the veteran’s mind as he spent much of the offseason looking back on the NLDS loss.

“When you have a regular season like we did, obviously our expectations were a lot higher,” Kershaw recently said. “With that said, playoffs are pretty much a crapshoot sometimes. It’s not always once you get in there, you’re going to win just because you think you have the best team on paper.

“That one hurt. It hurt. It was no fun to lose. It was no fun to lose to the Padres. So hopefully all of us spend a little time reflecting on what went wrong, what we want to do better and how we can make this team get over the hump.

“Because obviously, the talent is there. We have the pieces. It’s just a matter of being a better team and how to do that. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and hopefully, guys have been thinking about it a lot.”

Kershaw started Game 2 of the NLDS and went five innings while allowing three runs on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks. He finished the year 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, and started the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.

The 34-year-old is now set to return for his 15th season with the Dodgers, and he will pitch for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic for the first time in his career.

Clayton Kershaw confident Dodgers can help Noah Syndergaard

Even after re-signing Kershaw this offseason, the Dodgers still had a need in their rotation after losing Andrew Heaney and Tyler Anderson in free agency.

The Dodgers filled the void by signing Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $13 million contract that reportedly includes incentives for innings pitched.

The right-hander was once one of the top starting pitchers in all of baseball, but he has been limited since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2020 and has not returned to form. However, Kershaw expressed confidence the Dodgers will be able to help Syndergaard get back on track.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!