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Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw after loss to Nationals: ‘I might not get over it’ - Sportsnet.ca

Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw after loss to Nationals: ‘I might not get over it’ - Sportsnet.ca
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LOS ANGELES Clayton Kershaw might very well go into the Hall of Fame one day on the strength of his amazing regular-season success dragging behind him a painful October history he would rather forget.

Another chapter to his playoff woes was added Wednesday night when the three-time Cy Young Award winner squandered a two-run lead with the Los Angeles Dodgers six outs from advancing to a fourth consecutive NL Championship Series.

Pitching in relief of effective starter Walker Buehler and looking to help seal Game 5 of the Division Series against Washington at home, Kershaw gave up homers on consecutive pitches to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto that tied it 3-all in the eighth inning.

The wild-card Nationals won 7-3 after a grand slam in the 10th by former Dodger Howie Kendrick off Joe Kelly.

"Just a terrible feeling," Kershaw said.

Kershaw has been the heart and soul of the Dodgers almost since the time he arrived in Los Angeles as a 20-year-old touted prospect in 2008. While his body of work in the regular season is practically unmatched, he had a 4.33 ERA in the post-season and that was before giving up two more runs Wednesday.

The left-hander entered in the seventh and struck out Adam Eaton on three pitches with two on to end the inning.

Kershaw, however, never got another out.

"I might not get over it," he said. "I dont know."

Kershaw also took the loss as a starter in Game 2 of this series at home, when he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings. He has nine career post-season wins, but has lost 11 times in 32 career outings.

"Everything people say is true right now about the post-season," Kershaw said.

Lifted by manager Dave Roberts for right-hander Kenta Maeda, Kershaw walked to the dugout with his head down, void of expression. He sat on the bench alone, slumped and sagging for a while, looking at the ground.

"Hes a pro. Hes probably the best pitcher of our generation, and for him to make himself available tonight, and got us out of a big spot right there," Roberts said. "It just didnt work out. Theres always going to be second-guessing when things dont work out. Ill take my chances on Clayton. Its a guy that I believe in, I trust, and it didnt work out."

Kelly finished the season working his way through a mysterious lower-body injury that was essentially described as soreness.

The Dodgers dominated all season while winning a franchise-best 106 games and their seventh straight NL West title, but Washington was able to strike where they were most vulnerable. Los Angeles bullpen was a roller-coaster due to inconsistent seasons form Kelly and closer Kenley Jansen, even if it did finish with an NL-best 3.78 ERA.
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