Clayton Kershaw started Games 1 and 5 of the World Series and pitched in relief in Game 7. His performance in Game 5 is the one that stands out in a bad way for the Dodgers, as he let up six runs in 4 2/3 innings (blowing multiple three-run leads) on the way to an Astros win.
He’s spent a decade with the Dodgers now and remains without a World Series despite the team’s regular-season success. Before now, Kershaw’s playoff performances plagued him. And he came one appearance from fully shedding that issue, but it looks like that’s not to be.
After the game, Kershaw talked to USA Today’s Josh Peter about how he was feeling and where he goes from here. In the most poignant of his quotes, which will make even non-Dodgers fans blue, he said,
“Maybe one of these days I won’t fail, we won’t fail and we’ll win one of these things. I think once the dust settles and we go home, we can realize that we had a pretty amazing season and we finished in second place, which nobody cares about or remembers.’’
Oof, that first part is a rough read. Athletes put a lot on themselves, especially at this level, but realizing the fallout from the pressure and seeing it firsthand after a series loss like this is still brutal.
He went on,
“This month felt like 27 years,’’ he said. “You can ask my wife too. I think it took 10 years off her life. It’s just every game, every pitch, it’s just so intense…
It’s hard. You go through this much effort to win that many games against this many good teams and it’s, I mean, I hope to get to this point again.’’
There were more uplifting quotes about the team and how he still appreciates the opportunity to go out there and pitch, but those two snippets really give an inside look at Kershaw’s mindset.