After missing the postseason last year due to a second bout with left forearm trouble, some wondered whether Clayton Kershaw had thrown his final pitch with the Los Angeles Dodgers when he walked off the mound at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 1, 2021.
There was speculation the left-hander would retire or perhaps even sign with his hometown Texas Rangers. Kershaw wound up re-signing with the Dodgers on a one-year contract after determining he was healthy enough to continue forward.
And while the 34-year-old has endured two stints on the injured list this season because of back trouble, he has otherwise been his usual productive self on the mound.
Now at the tail end of his 15th MLB season, Kershaw revealed he is still having fun playing baseball, per Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:
“This year has been a blast for me, personally,” Kershaw said.
Kershaw’s jovial spirit has correlated with his success this year. In 21 starts, he has gone 11-3 with a 2.30 ERA, 2.56 FIP and 0.96 WHIP over 121.1 innings pitched en route to his ninth career All-Star Game appearance.
Kershaw could be roughly one month from needing to make another decision on his future but revealed he doesn’t anticipate retiring after the 2022 season.
Which NLDS game will Clayton Kershaw start?
The Dodgers haven’t yet disclosed their starting rotation order for the postseason, but manager Dave Roberts did acknowledge Julio Urías and Kershaw will get the ball in the first two games of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
“We’re in a situation where I don’t think we can go wrong with either he or Clayton,” Roberts said for the postseason opener. “So we’ll kind of see how the last couple starts go for these guys, but I think it’s fair to say those guys will be starting Game 1 and Game 2.”
Urías’ final start of the regular season came Tuesday, and Kershaw is to follow in the Dodgers’ last game. However, that order isn’t necessarily indicative of how the Dodgers will line up the left-handers in the NLDS.
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