Now having rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the National League Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the World Series for a third time in the past four years. Game 1 is Tuesday, with Clayton Kershaw getting the ball opposite Tyler Glasnow and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kershaw’s postseason thus far has produced mixed results. Most notably because he was unable to start Game 2 of the NLCS due to back spasms. Kershaw was pushed back to Game 4 in the NLCS and now takes the mound on regular rest.
Although the Dodgers have turned to Walker Buehler as their Game 1 starter more times than not in recent years, Kershaw now has received the ball in the Fall Classic opener for each of the Dodgers last three trips.
Both pitchers have downplayed any significance with when they pitch, and Kershaw recently spoke highly about Buehler.
“Walk’s been awesome. I think we’ve learned from each other. I like the way he goes about things, I think it can kind of relax me at times just to see how he does it,” Kershaw said.
“I think likewise for him, maybe I can give him a little bit more structure to what he does. I think it’s a good balance for both of us. At the end of the day, he goes out there and the way he competes, obviously his stuff separates himself, but he’s a very good competitor on the mound.
“At the end of the day the conviction that he has is what separates him. Off the field, I think it’s been great for both of us. I like watching him throw.”
Buehler similarly discussed the impact Kershaw has had on him in his young career. “It probably hasn’t changed a whole lot on my end,” Buehler said of his relationship with the longtime Dodgers ace.
“Obviously walking into a clubhouse with a guy like that, there’s going to be instant respect. And just watching what he does day to day, that obviously hasn’t changed for me.
“If anything it’s the other way; you’d probably have to ask him. I can get away with a little bit more and give him a little more crap than I used to. Maybe that’s just because I’ve been here for a little bit now.”
Buehler like a ‘little brother’ to Kershaw
While Kershaw and Buehler share mutual respect, the latter also admitted he can be irritating at times. “Probably more annoying than little brother, but definitely a little bit of both,” Buehler joked.
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