Clayton Kershaw had a lot of issues during his last few playoff appearances. But as Jay-Z would say, he can get that dirt off his shoulder, because Kersh and his Dodgers found a way to knock off the Washington Nationals last night to get the honor of meeting the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS.
Let’s see how they got there.
Dodgers 4, Nationals 3
Washington drew first blood, with a single run in the second inning. The Dodgers lay dormant because Max Scherzer was his usual very excellent self for six innings, while Dave Roberts decided to do his best Cardinals-era Tony LaRussa impression, bringing out multiple pitchers doing about two and half innings a piece. Until the seventh inning.
The seventh inning is when everything went to hell.
ESPN has a great write up on the seventh. I mean, the Nats had this in hand! But then Max was human and gave up a homer to my small child, Joc Pederson. And send in the clowns.
In an inning that took an hour – an HOUR!?!? – the Nats and Dodgers decided to play a whole game within one inning. In all truth, this single inning decided the entire game. Sure, the Nats came back in later innings to get close enough to scare LA, but don’t be fooled. This game was won, and lost, in the seventh.
But what of the Ace of Aces? What about Clayton Kershaw?!?!? Well, hold on, I’m getting there.
Dave Roberts went rogue, y’all. In a world where Craig Kimbrels and Zach Brittons don’t see the light of day, Roberts threw the book out of the window and brought out a starter to save the game. And not just any starter. Possibly the best starting pitcher of my generation? Yes. Dave Roberts had Clayton Kershaw close the game. And Kersh delivered. And got the save.
What a world we live in.
Congrats to the Dodgers, who will be quickly demolished by the Chicago Cubs. Er….