Clayton Kershaw: Back Injury Wasn't an Issue in Dodgers' Game 4 Loss to Braves

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 16, 2020

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning in Game 4 of a baseball National League Championship Series Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw allowed four earned runs in five-plus innings in a 10-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Thursday.

Kershaw was originally scheduled to pitch Game 2 but was scratched due to back spasms. The left-hander did not place blame on his back ailment for his Game 4 performance in a postgame talk with reporters: 

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Clayton Kershaw said his back “felt fine tonight.” The back issues began during his bullpen session over the weekend.

Kershaw largely cruised through the first five innings but allowed the first three baserunners to get on in the sixth before getting the hook. All three eventually scored, and Atlanta ended up scoring six in the sixth for a 7-1 edge en route to the 10-2 win.

The southpaw dominated in his first playoff start, throwing eight shutout innings and striking out 13 while allowing three hits and no runs in a NL Wild Card Series win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

His second start against the San Diego Padres didn't go as well, but he still posted a quality outing with six innings of three-run ball while striking out six in another win.

Thursday was a different story, although the Dodgers' offense went cold in the defeat. L.A. had just one hit (and one run) off an Edwin Rios solo home run through the first six innings.

The Dodgers must now win three straight games against the Braves to keep their postseason alive, as Atlanta now lead the best-of-seven series three games to one.

Game 5 of the NLCS will take place Friday at 9:08 p.m. ET in Arlington, Texas' Globe Life Field.