Clayton Kershaw is set to take the mound Saturday as the Los Angeles Dodgers play one of their two remaining home games in the 2023 regular season. But for Kershaw, it could be his last start ever at Dodger Stadium, depending on a few very possible factors.
The Dodgers still need to decide their rotation order for the postseason, which theoretically could see Kershaw pitch the third or fourth game on the road. If the Dodgers decide to move him to the middle of the National League Division Series, it could be based on Kershaw’s health to limit throwing him multiple times in a series.
The future Hall of Famer also contemplated retirement last season, and that figures to again be on his mind again after the season. With the injuries problems Kershaw is dealing with, that could help make his decision as well.
He also considered signing his hometown Texas Rangers last offseason, and they are expected to be in play again if Kershaw does continue to play.
With all those potential outcomes, Kershaw is unsure if Saturday’s game against the San Francisco Giants will be his last game started at Dodger Stadium, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I wish I did know so I could be, ‘This is it. It’s going to be great.’ But I just don’t. I have no idea,” Kershaw said. “So I’ll enjoy it as best I can. But at the same time – it would be one thing if we weren’t playing for anything, you know what I mean, and October was done. But I’m trying to work on stuff. I’m trying to get ready for October like we all are.
“If I knew this was my last regular-season start at Dodger Stadium, I would probably be sentimental more. But I just don’t have that right now.”
If it is Kershaw’s final start at home, he would end his career with 215 starts at Chavez Ravine. Entering the outing, he’s gone 111-41 at Dodger Stadium with a 2.20 ERA and 1,593 strikeouts compared to 327 walks over 1,408.2 innings pitched.
Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, or even the decisions he makes in the offseason, it appears Kershaw’s career is nearing the end.
Kershaw has had one of the greatest careers of all-time, winning a National League Most Valuable Player award, three Cy Young awards, a pitching triple crown, a gold glove, 10 all-star selections and five ERA titles.
Clayton Kershaw still appreciates winning NL West
The Dodgers won their 10th division title in the last 11 seasons, but despite all those times popping champagne, Kershaw still considers it a moment to celebrate every time they clinch.
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