Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw Discusses NLDS Struggles, Astros Cheating Allegations

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 14, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he leaves the game after giving up back to back home runs in the eighth inning of game five of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw isn't letting his struggles against the Washington Nationals in last year's National League Division Series impact his preparation for 2020. 

Per ESPN's Alden Gonzalez, Kershaw spoke about his approach this offseason as he gets ready for spring training in February. 

"You have two options: You can either just kind of crawl into a hole, or you can move on and try to get better for the next year," he said. "I don't want to crawl into a hole yet, so I'm going to try to get better for the next year."

Kershaw took a loss in Game 2 against the Nationals, allowing three runs over six innings in Los Angeles' 4-2 defeat. He pitched a second time out of the bullpen in Game 5, allowing back-to-back homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto in the eighth inning that tied the score at three. 

Washington went on beat the Dodgers 7-3 and win the series thanks to Howie Kendrick's grand slam off Joe Kelly in the 10th inning.

Kershaw also discussed the accusations the Houston Astros stole signs during their 2017 postseason run, which included a World Series victory over the Dodgers. 

"When the team and the players are doing what they can on the field to get the signs, that's obviously part of the game," Kershaw said. "But when technology comes into play, if that is really true, it sucks. Unless we get to win the World Series, I don't really care what the punishment is. But it does suck, no matter what."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Kershaw made three appearances against the Astros in that World Series. He allowed a combined one run on five hits with 15 strikeouts over 11 innings in Games 1 and 7, both played at Dodger Stadium. 

Game 5 was Kershaw's only appearance in Houston during that series. He gave up six runs on four hits and three walks over 4.2 innings in the Astros' 13-12 victory. 

Kershaw has struggled in the postseason throughout his career. The three-time NL Cy Young winner owns a 4.43 ERA and has allowed 24 homers in 158.1 playoff innings. 

The Dodgers have made it to the World Series twice, in 2017 and 2018, but they came up short both times. Their last championship season was in 1988 when they beat the Oakland Athletics in five games.

Kershaw is the most decorated pitcher of this generation with three Cy Young Awards, an NL MVP Award in 2014 and eight All-Star appearances. The one missing piece on his Hall of Fame resume is a championship, but the Dodgers remain in excellent position to make it back to the playoffs in 2020.