Clayton Kershaw didn’t have his best stuff Friday night in Game 1 of the NLCS. He gave up a solo home run to a pitcher, for starters. He also didn’t make it past the third inning. But his defense didn’t do him many favors either. Catcher Yasmani Grandal would account for two errors — including a catcher’s interference — in the 6-5 loss. Outfielder Chris Taylor added an error after a ball got under his glove, allowing the runners to advance.
Kershaw’s final line: 3 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 2 K.
But if you ask Grandal, he’ll tell you it falls on him and the rest of the defense.
“He’s out on the mound competing as much as he possibly can, and we pretty much just let him down,” Grandal told ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez following the loss. “I think that’s the biggest thing.”
As for Kershaw, it took him 76 pitches to get through Friday’s outing. That’s a lot for only getting nine outs. Again, though, it largely wasn’t his fault. Brandon Woodruff hit a no-doubter, sure. That did happen. And when the Brewers did get hits off of him, they were hard hits. But three errors in three innings in a playoff game? That’s tough to overcome for anybody, let alone one of the best pitchers to every play the game.
Speaking of that Woodruff dinger, Kershaw wasn’t about to take away from that.
“I knew he could swing the bat a little bit, for sure,” Kershaw told reporters when addressing the Woodruff dinger. “I didn’t know he could do that, but I knew he could hit a little bit.”
Trust us, we didn’t know either. And for what it’s worth, Woodruff wasn’t quite as confident.
“I was just trying to look heater and trying to foul it off or put it in play,” he said. “I just got lucky.”
We’re certain the Brewers will take as much of that as they can get. In the meantime, Game 2 comes at us this afternoon. This series is far from over. The Brewers keep finding ways to win, but the Dodgers aren’t going away.
And we know this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Clayton Kershaw this series.