Clayton Kershaw's Last Game in a Dodgers Uniform Could be in Back-to-Back World Series Losses at Home - NBC Southern California
SoCal Sports 4 You

SoCal Sports 4 You

Follow the latest in professional sports across Southern California.

Clayton Kershaw's Last Game in a Dodgers Uniform Could be in Back-to-Back World Series Losses at Home

The Los Angeles Dodgers turn to Clayton Kershaw with their World Series hopes on the line in what could be the three-time Cy Young Award winner's final game in a Dodger uniform.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Clayton Kershaw's Last Game in a Dodgers Uniform Could be in Back-to-Back World Series Losses at Home
    Elsa/Getty Images
    Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he is taken out of the game during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    The final Kershaw Day?

    The Los Angeles Dodgers are one loss away from their second straight World Series elimination on their home turf. 

    The only other team to experience such heartbreak in front of their fans? The 1936 and 1937 New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.

    Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw knows that disappointment firsthand. He's been on the mound in games that have ended his team's season short of a World Series title, and he's been on the mound in elimination games that have extended the season as well. 

    Kershaw pitched four scoreless innings in Game 7 of the World Series last year, and then watched from the Dodgers dugout as the Houston Astros celebrated their first championship on Los Angeles soil.

    Less than one year later, Kershaw is on the precipice of experiencing that same pain and disappointment, as he takes the mound on Sunday in what could be the final game of the MLB season and the final game of Kershaw's career as a Dodger.

    Should Kershaw decide to opt out of the final year of his contract after the season, he would become an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team of his choosing as he enters the second half of his career. 

    Kershaw's Hall of Fame legacy is already cemented, but his postseason legacy is another story altogether. One of the greatest left-handers ever to take the mound, Kershaw has a 4.28 career postseason ERA and has had as many nightmarish games in the playoffs than he's had "vintage Kershaw" games. 

    "I don't really care about legacy," Kershaw said during his pregame press conference before Game 4. "I don't really care what people think of me or perceive of me. Game 5 is very important to win the World Series, and I'm looking forward to pitching that game and hopefully putting us in a great spot going back to Boston." 

    On Sunday, in Game 5, fresh off one of the greatest bullpen collapses in World Series History, Kershaw will try and bring his team back from the brink, and extend the series to Boston. 

    If Kershaw struggles, and the Dodgers are eliminated again, forced to watch their opponent celebrate on their own field as they host the coveted prize that Los Angeles has sought for 30 years, then it's possible the three-time Cy Young Award winner signs elsewhere as he chases a championship.

    If that happens, then he will be haunted by the "what if's" for the remainder of his career. 

    What if Kershaw wasn't lit up in Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS in St. Louis against the Cardinals and the Dodgers forced a Game 7?

    What if Kershaw never surrendered that back-breaking homer in Game 4 of the 2014 NLDS when Matt Adams erased a two-run lead with a three-run homer?

    What if Kershaw had command of his curveball in Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field?

    What if Kershaw didn't surrender not one, but two, four-run leads in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston?

    If this is in fact the last time we see Clayton Kershaw pitch at Chavez Ravine in a Dodgers uniform, then fans will remember one of the greatest regular season pitchers they've ever seen.

    But they'll also remember the multiple chances they had to win a World Series title, all placed in the steady hands of their future Hall of Famer, only to see the trophy slip through his grasp, time and time again.

    First pitch of Game 5 at Dodger Stadium is scheduled for 5:15PM PT and will be broadcast live on FOX.

    Get the latest from NBC4 anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android