It was the perfect redemption song for Clayton Kershaw, whose postseason woes have been well documented. The Dodgers’ ace pitcher heard the murmurs. Many had questioned his mental toughness, while citing his seventh-inning meltdowns in 2013 and 2014.
Kershaw, who walked one and struck out eight, came to play on Tuesday night as Dodgers romped to a 3-1 victory against the New York Mets, keeping their championship hopes alive.
The Mets were held to just three hits as their batters were left bamboozled with Kershaw’s accuracy and speed variations, coupled with his signature curveball batters.
Don Mattingly, the Dodgers manager, showered praises on Kershaw. “This kid is tremendous,” he said after the game. “Everything that you’re supposed to be, he is. And I think to see him be able to do that tonight on short rest is a really good feeling. This guy’s an animal.”
Kershaw needed only 94 pitches across seven innings to get the job done. In fact, Mattingly rested Kershaw after the seventh, with the game clearly in his team’s grasp. “It really wasn’t by design but I think I probably did end up throwing more fastballs, less sliders,” Kershaw said after the game, while crediting catcher A.J. Ellis. “AJ felt confident throwing the heater tonight with a lot of guys and we were able to get some outs behind in the count on it, which was great,” Kershaw added.
With the series evened up, it’s winner-take-all on Thursday as the action shifts back to LA.
The Mets are likely to start Jacob deGrom against Zack Greinke and the Dodgers.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 14, 2015