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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw suffered a left forearm injury during his start on Friday against the Brewers, leaving his playoff status uncertain.
Kershaw, 33, could only make it through an inning and a third before manager Dave Roberts knew something was wrong. Turns out, it’s another setback for Kershaw, who missed two months of the season on the IL due to the same issue with his left forearm.
“It just got bad enough to where I couldn’t keep going tonight,” said Kershaw, during his postgame press conference. “I’ll get it looked at again, obviously, in the next couple days. Haven’t quite wrapped my head around all that yet. The biggest thing was I just wanted to be part of this team going through October.
“This team is special. You saw tonight. … I’ve known that. I know that we’re gonna do something special this year, and I wanted to be a part of that. That’s the hardest part for me right now is just knowing that chances are it’s not looking great for October right now.”
It’s a huge blow for Kershaw and the Dodgers, who are now down two of their top starters heading into the playoffs. Fellow ace Trevor Bauer has been on paid administration leave since he was accused of sexual assault back in June. Los Angeles has been neck and neck with the Giants all season long for the NL West division lead but sits two games back of San Francisco with two games to play. Beyond the postseason, however, this might signal the end of the three-time Cy Young award winner in Dodger blue.
Kershaw is a free agent at the end of the season, as his three-year, $93 million extension he signed in 2018 ends. He’s been arguably the best pitcher in baseball for a decade, with a career 185-84 record with a dazzling 2.49 ERA, but he’s no longer a priority for Los Angeles. Injuries have begun to pile up in recent years and younger options such as Walker Buehler and Julio Urías now sit atop the rotation. Roberts said after the game that he felt awful for Kershaw, who walked off the mound to a standing ovation.
“It was difficult,” Roberts said. “It was his last home start this year. You just don’t know what the future is gonna predict. I wanted it to be really special for him and his family, and it just didn’t end the way we had hoped. But with that said, we have to gather more information and see what’s next.”
Roberts is correct. Nobody can predict Kershaw’s future, not even Kershaw himself. He knows it will play itself out during the offseason, but for now, Kershaw said his focus is on cheering his teammates on through October.
“My future’s gonna take care of itself,” Kershaw said. “I’m not really worried about that right now. I really wanted to be a part of the moment right now, and I wanted to be with this group going through October. That was my only focus this year. Once I got hurt, it was just to come back and make it up for this month.
“That’s the hard part right now is knowing it’s gonna be a challenge to even contribute at all this next month. But as far as anything else goes — I haven’t wrapped my head around it, and I don’t plan to any time soon. I’m just excited to watch these guys next month.”