The Los Angeles Dodgers may be without their best pitcher in the postseason.
Kershaw is experiencing left forearm discomfort and the Dodgers are not optimistic about his availability after the season, manager Dave Roberts said after an 8-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
“Where we are in the schedule and what’s left of the season, just not too optimistic at the moment,” Roberts told reporters, including MLB.com’s Juan Toribio, when asked about availability. Kershaw after the season. “I don’t really know details. But he couldn’t keep pitching, so that’s pretty telling.”
Kershaw threw only 1 2/3 innings on Friday-evening and gave up three runs on five hits before being pulled out of the game.
Friday’s performance was unusual. The 33-year-old did not pitch at all from July 3 to September 13 due to a forearm/elbow injury. However, he was strong in his first two appearances since his return.
Kershaw told reporters after Friday’s win that his current condition is “sort of the same” he’s been dealing with for a while. He also expressed disappointment that he may not be able to pitch in the playoffs.
“The most important thing was that I just wanted to be part of this team until October. That’s the hardest thing for me right now, knowing that chances are things aren’t looking good for October right now.”
The Dodgers have already secured a post-season spot and remain in contention for first place in the NL West, although the San Francisco Giants could take the division title with another win or a loss to the Dodgers. LA has won eight consecutive NL West titles.
Should Kershaw miss the postseason start, the Dodgers rotation will likely include Max Scherzer, who is lining up to throw the wildcard game, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin.
As for Kershaw, he ends the 2021 regular season 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA, 1,019 WHIP and 144 strikeouts in 121.2 innings. He will be a free agent once the season ends.
Kershaw admitted in February that he was unsure whether he would sign an extension with the Dodgers. However, he added that he has “no plans” to retire after the 2021 season. So he’ll pitch somewhere, even if it’s not in LA