Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Evaluates NLDS Game 2 Start

The Los Angeles Dodgers hung for 6-5 victory over the San Diego Padres in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, holding off a late rally to go up 2-0 in the best-of-five set.

Although he wasn’t as dominant this time around, Clayton Kershaw picked up his second win of the 2020 postseason, allowing six hits and three runs in six innings with six strikeouts.

After giving up a run in the top of the first, Kershaw settled down and posted four consecutive goose eggs on the scoreboard. He would run into a bit of trouble in the top of the sixth, however, yielding back-to-back home runs to Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer to begin the frame.

“I think I probably came out in the sixth and didn’t quite have my stuff like I wanted to,” Kershaw said. “Felt fine physically, but it wasn’t coming out like it had been in the first few innings.

“Manny’s ball was a slider. That’s kind of what he hits down and in, so it just wasn’t a good slider. Hosmer, I think we probably just went in there one too many times. My slider wasn’t as good as it was against the Brewers. Able to kind of grind it out through six, fortunately we got some runs tonight, which was awesome. We got a win.”

In addition to his slider, Kershaw felt his overall pitch mix was average when compared to his previous start against the Milwaukee Brewers. “It was OK. There’s different levels, obviously,” he said.

“My last start of the regular season was pretty bad. Against the Brewers, I felt like I had a lot of stuff going. This one was kind of right in the middle of those two.

“I wish there was a magic formula to have everything going the way you want it to every game. Sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. Thankful to be on a good team and get a win.”

After completing the sixth inning, Kershaw was pulled in favor of Blake Treinen, who recorded the first two outs of the seventh. After hitting a batter, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went to Brusdar Graterol.

The right-hander nearly gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Fernando Tatis Jr., but Cody Bellinger got on his horse to make an unbelievable leaping catch at the wall.

L.A. then tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom half of the frame, which wound up being important, as the Padres manufactured a pair of runs against Kenley Jansen in the ninth. Their comeback attempt was thwarted when Joe Kelly recorded the final out to secure the save.

“Never a doubt. Never a doubt,” Kershaw said of the Dodgers pulling out the win. “We had it in our hands. That’s how Joe Kelly rolls. Joe likes to make it interesting for us. That was a huge win, obviously. We’re in a good spot now going into tomorrow.”

Roberts pleased with Kershaw’s outing

While Kershaw was critical of his performance, Roberts felt he did enough to help the Dodgers win. “He did what we needed,” Roberts said.

“He made a couple mistakes as far as the homers, but he gave us six innings. We were winning when he came out of the game. He put our team in a position to win, so he did a really nice job.”

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