Sports | October 16, 2020 10:03 am

Dodgers Lose to Braves as Clayton Kershaw’s Playoff Struggles Continue in NLCS

Atlanta is now just one win away from advancing to the World Series

Dodgers Lose to Braves as Clayton Kershaw's Playoff Struggles Continue in NLCS
Clayton Kershaw reacts against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the NLCS.
Getty Images

After being scratched from his start in Game 2 of the series due to a sore back, Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound for the Dodgers in Game 4 with a chance to help his team even things up at two games apiece.

It looked like that might happen until the sixth inning when Kershaw got some bad breaks and was left in the game too long by manager Dave Roberts as the Braves scored six runs and broke the game open.

Though only three of the six sixth-inning runs were charged to Kershaw, he bears the brunt of the blame for the game getting away from the Dodgers and their eventual 10-2 loss to the Braves.

A star during the regular season with a 175-76 record and 2.43 ERA over 13 years in the big leagues, Kershaw is 11-12 with 4.31 ERA in the postseason and now has a proven track record of pitching poorly in October. Kershaw has now allowed 27 postseason homers, second-most in history behind Andy Pettitte (31).

To be fair to Kershaw, who struck out four, walked one and allowed four runs on seven hits in five-plus innings in the loss, the Los Angeles offense did not do enough against rookie right-hander Bryse Wilson and certainly deserves some of the blame for the defeat. But, fair or not, Kershaw and his postseason struggles are in the spotlight.

With the win, the Braves are just one win away from advancing to the World Series. If the Dodgers want to prevent that from happening, they will have to dig out of a 3-1 hole.

In the American League, Carlos Correa hit a walk-off home run to give the Astros a 4-3 victory over the Rays in the ALCS. The one-run shot kept Houston’s chances of advancing alive, but the Tampa Bay still leads the series 3-2.