Clayton Kershaw, the longtime ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will no longer be making his planned start for game 2 of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves. The hope was that after dropping game 1, the Dodgers would be able to ride Kershaw and generate momentum to come back and tie the series at 1 game a piece. Kershaw was scratched due to back spasms. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stated that Kershaw will not be available for game 3 either, but still most likely will be able to pitch during the CS. Roberts also added that rookie Tony Gonsolin will start game 2 in Kershaw’s place instead of the previous plan to start game 3. Kershaw being able to pitch in this series is crucial for the Dodgers as he had one of the best seasons of his career in 2020 and has already made two great starts in the 2020 postseason including a shutout against the Milwaukee Brewers to win the Wild Card.
Kershaw has experienced similar injuries in the past, including missing his scheduled start for Opening Day 2020 due to a similar injury. His currently promising stats show a hopeful sign after Kershaw’s infamous postseason legacy. With the expectations the Dodgers have had all season, and with how big they are in the postseason, Kershaw returning to make starts for them will be key factors in the Dodgers finally getting over the hump and winning their first World Series title since 1988. Gonsolin has been one of 2 outstanding rookie starting pitchers for the Dodgers this season and is in talks for Rookie of the Year. This will be Gonsolin’s first career postseason start.