The players and front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of making the full transition to the offseason, which can involve reflecting on the season and the positives and negatives that came with it.
For Clayton Kershaw, the first two months of the season were filled with questions and concern as his traditional statistics reflected a letdown from his 2014 MVP campaign. The season ended with the southpaw putting some of his postseason demons to bed, but the Dodgers as a whole fell short of their goal.
On Friday the 27-year-old discussed his start on short rest in Game 4 of the National League Division Series with ESPN’s Mike & Mike:
“At least I didn’t end the season again, that was better. It felt good for about 24 hours, until we lost the next game. Losing is losing and obviously that is no fun.”
Kershaw was later asked about his notorious work ethic and determination that’s led to him already being viewed as one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball history. While Kershaw strives for perfection on the mound, it’s not something he carries out off the field:
“Other than baseball I don’t feel like there is a whole lot that I try to perfect my craft on. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. You only get one shot at being a baseball player, so I want to make sure that I do it right. Other than that in life, I’m not sure if I have too much else that I try to be perfect at.”
Kershaw tied a career high with 33 starts last season; it was the third time in four years he’s reached that total. His 232.2 innings of work rank third-highest and marks the third time in his career he’s surpassed 230 innings in a single season.
As for the postseason, Kershaw went 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched over two starts. He ran into the familiar seventh-inning trouble in Game 1, but bounced back with seven strong innings in Game 4 to keep the Dodgers alive.