Clayton Kershaw: A Playoffs Journey of Gratitude And Adaptation

Photo: Instagram/Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw, now in his 32nd postseason start, reflects on his remarkable journey in the playoffs.

This seasoned veteran, who made his postseason debut as a 20-year-old rookie back in 2008, has seen his career evolve significantly over the years. At 35, he acknowledges that he's no longer the same dominant pitcher he once was, mainly due to age and a history of injuries, including a lingering left shoulder issue.

Despite these challenges, Kershaw has adapted his approach to maintain his effectiveness. Mentally, Kershaw has undergone a transformation as well. In the past, he grappled with a fear of failure, but now he embraces the excitement and positive energy that come with pitching in the playoffs.

Photo: Instagram/Clayton Kershaw

His nerves stem from the privilege of participating in these high-stakes moments. Kershaw's postseason track record has been a mix of highs and lows. While he boasts the best regular-season ERA among pitchers with 1,500 innings since 1920, his postseason ERA is higher.

Nevertheless, he believes that learning from setbacks has been invaluable in his career. His extensive experience has solidified his legacy, making him a likely candidate for the Hall of Fame.

Dodgers executives and teammates praise his competitiveness, consistency, and leadership on and off the field. When Kershaw takes the mound, his presence instills confidence in his teammates.

The looming question is whether this postseason might be Kershaw's swan song. He has contemplated retirement in recent years, and while he hasn't made any firm decisions about his future, there's a sense that this could be his last hurrah.

Regardless of what lies ahead, Kershaw remains grateful for the opportunity to compete in the postseason. He cherishes the highs and lows, understanding that being in this position is a privilege.

His hope is not only to set the tone as the Dodgers' staff ace but also to savor the moment, knowing that being part of the postseason is a special and fleeting experience.

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Source: MLB

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