Clayton Kershaw returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 13 after a stint on the 60-day injured list and found some success against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 5-1 victory.
The 33-year old gave L.A. 4.1 innings while only allowing one run and adding five strikeouts.
“There’s not a lot of better feelings in the world than getting to pitch here and getting a win,” Kershaw said after the game. “It’s a special thing. I missed it, it was good to be back. We got a win and everything worked out. It was good.”
Despite the positive results, Kershaw acknowledged there are some things he needs to work on without much time left because of the tight race for the National League West division title.
“There’s still some things I definitely need to work on pitching-wise,” Kershaw said. “It was good to get back out there, but at the same time we’re in a race, so there’s not a lot of time to work the kinks out.
“I was throwing more curveballs than I probably had in the past, but that just seemed to be what was working best. I’ve got to get that slider going, and fastball was OK at times. Definitely some things I need to work on.”
Kershaw built on that to put forth an impressive effort against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, allowing just one run and collecting eight strikeouts over five innings.
His curveball again proved to be an effective pitch and it was complemented by a sharp slider along with a fastball that saw a slight bump in velocity. Kershaw deemed the outing a “good step.”
Kershaw embracing NL West race
Kershaw’s return could not have come at a better time for the Dodgers as they chase the San Fracsisco Giants, and he is looking forward to helping them do it.
“I’m thankful. I didn’t really know what it was going to look like, honestly, at the end of this season,” Kershaw said. “So for me to be able to be a part of it is huge. I will never take that for granted to be in a playoff race and be a part of it.
“It’s a good one right now. Giants aren’t losing, so they’re not making it easy on us. It’s going to be fun, and either way we’re going to get a chance in the playoffs, so it’s going to be pretty special.”
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