Last year, the Dodgers acquired Rich Hill and in the NLCS, it was all set for Kershaw to even the series and then Rich Hill could take the mound and do what the Dodgers acquired him for: win game seven. Unfortunately, Clayton Kershaw surrendered 5 runs on two homers and lost the game and the game and the series. Fast forward a little over a year later and Kershaw did one better: He gave up 6 runs to effectively snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
With your Ace up 4-0 in the 5th inning, you have to like your chances if you are a Dodger fan, except that we have seen this too many times. Some will say that Clayton is a choke artist. I don’t believe that for a minute. What I have been saying for quite some time is that his greatest strength is his greatest weakness. A-Rod said the same thing in the pre-game show last night. Clayton Kershaw throws more strikes on the first pitch than anyone. At one time, I believed that the Cardinals may have stolen the Dodgers signs, but they really didn’t need to – they knew that he wanted to get that first strike in and if he didn’t the second one would be there.
That is exactly what happened last night. Correa doubled on the second pitch and Gurriel homered on the first pitch. They knew what was coming. Clayton Kershaw is a very good pitcher but he is going to have to change his approach if the Dodgers are ever going to win the World Series. We have seen this too many times and you are insane if you believe doing what you have always done will get you different results. I don’t think Clayton is insane, so he will have to figure out how to change. It may be too late this year. Many fans are afraid that Clayton will walk after 2018 if the Dodgers don’t win. It turns out that the Dodgers may not win BECAUSE OF Clayton.
Tomorrow night, Rich Hill goes against Justin Verlander. This is why the Astros got Verlander. Of course, some will say that the Dodgers should have traded for Verlander, but if our Ace and Darvish had done their jobs, we wouldn’t be here. The bullpen is smoked, Jansen has lost confidence and Morrow looked like a deer in the headlights. If I had to guess what happens tomorrow, I would venture that Verlander will throw a complete game… maybe a shutout. I don’t see the Dodgers beating him again, but I never thought I’d see 25 runs last night with two former Cy Young winners pitching. You never know what will happen – that’s why they play the game.
You know who I am rooting for – I am just not confident!