Debate his postseason results all you’d like, but there’s no debating this: Clayton Kershaw is Major League Baseball’s all-time postseason strikeout king. With his legacy on the line, Kershaw once again took the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Kershaw struck out six, gave up two earned runs, and walked two over 5 2/3 innings in the Dodgers 4-2 Game 5 victory in the World Series. He now has 207 strikeouts in postseason play, breaking the record of 205 set last year by the Astros’ Justin Verlander.
Los Angeles, led by Kershaw’s gutsy performance, shook off a crushing defeat in Game 4 to beat Tampa Bay 4-2 and move within one win of their first World Series title in 32 years on Sunday.
“Tonight was a grind, all the way through. My slider wasn’t as good as it was in game one. But I stuck with the game plan. “To only give up two runs is huge for me.”Kershaw said postgame
Kershaw and the Dodgers, who came up agonizingly short in World Series appearances in 2017 and 2018, can lock up their first title since 1988 with a win in Game 6 at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Tuesday.
“It is very exciting, but at same time we’ve got to win one more. I am going to keep it together for one more game,”Kershaw said
Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award-winner with a Hall of Fame resume, is lacking a World Series title.
Perhaps his most memorable throw to home on the night, however, wasn’t a pitch, but a strong throw to cut down Manuel Margo as he tried to steal home and thwart a Rays rally attempt.
Kershaw kept the Rays from building any momentum, despite the aggressive efforts of Manuel Margot, who drew a walk to lead off the fourth, stole second, and reached third when the attempt to catch him at second failed.
Kershaw nailed Margot as he tried to steal home to end the inning and retired three straight in the fifth and two in the sixth before handing over to Dustin May.