For Clayton Kershaw, winning makes the grind worth it
By Jon Weisman
Clayton Kershaw, as you would expect, was much happier about Friday’s NLDS Game 1 victory than if he had “pitched a shutout for seven innings and we hadn’t won,” as Mark Whicker of the Register captured.
“It was a grind,” Kershaw added, according to A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com. “A lot of guys on base all the time. It definitely wasn’t easy. It was definitely as close as you can bend without breaking.”
Cassavell added that the reason that Kershaw and Yasmani Grandal had so many meetings at the mound was because they were changing signs frequently.
“You always want to be in a rhythm, but making sure you’re on the same page is more important,” Kershaw said.
Dodger pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said in Cassavell’s story that Kershaw “just lost the slot for the slider and didn’t keep the counts where the curveball became an option.” Whicker has more from Honeycutt on why Kershaw struggled more than usual.
“He kinda lost his offspeed pitches there in the middle, made it a little more difficult for him,” Honeycutt said. “But the thing I always know he’s going to do is fight. He got some really big outs.”
Dave Roberts said after the game that he didn’t believe Kershaw’s recovery from a disk herniation was a factor.
“I don’t think that the back had anything to do with … the way the game went tonight for him,” Roberts said. “He said he felt good after the game physically.”