Clayton Kershaw (35, LA Dodgers), who was even ridiculed after losing to the district rival San Diego Padres, showed a resolute attitude.
The Orange County Register, an American media, reported on the 7th (Korean time), “Kershaw showed no reaction to the video screened at Petco Park (San Diego’s home stadium), saying, ‘I will not take the bait’.”
Earlier, 안전놀이터 Kershaw appeared as a starting pitcher for the Dodgers in the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) away game against San Diego held at Petco Park the day before, but became a losing pitcher with 8 hits (2 homers), 5 walks, 7 strikeouts and 4 runs in 4⅔ innings.
Kershaw showed a strong performance by recording 23 wins, 10 losses and an average ERA of 2.12 in his career against San Diego, including this day’s game, but this day was different. He created a crisis by giving up hits and walks from the first inning, and eventually scored a run by hitting a solo home run to Fernando Tatis Jr. in the third inning.
Kershaw, who had blocked runners with one run until the fourth inning, collapsed in the fifth inning. After a walk by lead batter Trent Grisham, he was hit with a home run by Tatis. Shaken, he got back-to-back hits from Manny Machado and Juan Soto, allowing another walk after two outs. He dedicated the 4th run to Kim Ha-seong for an infield hit on the shortstop side, and eventually went down the mound.
It was the first time since August 2019 that Kershaw gave up five walks in a game. According to MLB.com, the official website of the major leagues, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also pointed out, “Ha-seong Kim was able to finish the inning with one ball (two strikes), but his control was not good overall.”
In the end, the game ended with San Diego winning 5-2. After the game, a video of Kershaw crying appeared on the billboard at Petco Park. It was completely ridiculed. According to the media, there was a public opinion of criticism among Dodgers fans in the United States.
However, the parties were resolute. Kershaw admitted, “I did watch the video,” but reflected on his pitching, saying, “In the end, I should have pitched better. That comes first.” He went on to say, “If the Dodgers won, San Diego wouldn’t be able to do that.”
In the end, the Dodgers granted Kershaw’s wish. In the game held the next day, the Dodgers defeated San Diego 2-1 with Chris Taylor’s two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning and starter Dustin May’s 6 strikeouts and 1 run in 6 innings.