For all of the criticism Clayton Kershaw has received for his postseason play, he has started two games for Los Angeles in the NLDS and the Dodgers have won them both: 4-3 in Game 1 and 6-5 in Game 4.
Kershaw, who was pitching on short rest, allowed five runs in 6 and 2/3 innings in Game 4 on Tuesday, but he also had 11 strikeouts and went 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a run scored.
“This guy is amazing,” Fox Sports West’s Jill Painter Lopez said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Yes, he has had well-documented problems in October, but he’s still the guy you want on the mound. He’s one of the best pitchers on the planet, he’s your $200 million guy, he’s your ace, he’s one of the leaders in that clubhouse – so you have to put the ball in his hands. He didn’t have his best stuff in either of these playoff games, but sometimes that happens. It’s certainly the knock on him – and it’s a well-deserved knock – that he hasn’t pitched nearly the way he has pitched in the regular season. He hasn’t been his Cy Young award self in the playoffs. But he did enough today and on three days rest (that) I think you have to commend him.”
Corey Seager, meanwhile, had an off day at the plate – 0-for-5 with two strikeouts – but he has been amazing this season, hitting .308 with 26 homers, 72 RBIs, 40 doubles and 105 runs.
“Just his ability to play big in big games (has been impressive),” Painter Lopez said. “The first two games in the series, he homers. That says a lot about him and what he’s made of. He is phenomenal, as Vin (Scully) has said. So when you listen to the way he describes him and you think of all the amazing players that Vin Scully saw and got to broadcast over his 67 years and how enthralled he was with watching Corey Seager – he’s 6-5, and the way he moves at shortstop is pretty incredible. Obviously he’s made some mistakes there defensively, but he’s carried a big bat and no moment has seemed too big for him in these playoffs.”
Game 5 of the NLDS is Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. All of Los Angeles will be watching with bated breath.
“It’s the Dodgers, no contest,” Painter Lopez said, when asked for the biggest sports story in L.A. “I know the Rams have done well and won three games, but this city is Dodgers and Lakers first and foremost. The Rams coming back is big, but right now with the Dodgers embroiled in this crazy playoff run, it’s definitely the Dodgers. They haven’t won a World Series since 1988, so they’re thirsty for one.”