Given the condition of his aching shoulder, speculation about Clayton Kershaw’s future has increased in recent weeks. The left-hander is finishing up another one year contract with the Dodgers and facing another offseason of uncertainty.
Unsure of what comes ahead, the future Hall of Famer was unwilling — or unready — to confirm if his next start against the Giants at Dodger Stadium might be his last in the regular season instead choosing to take it day by day as he’s done for the past few seasons.
“I don’t know. I really don’t,” Kershaw said about whether Saturday would be his final regular season start at Dodger Stadium. “There’s so many variables. I understand people asking. I totally get that. But I also feel uncomfortable. I don’t want the attention to be on me. If I had an answer, I would tell them. I don’t know yet. I really don’t.
“I wish I did know so I could be, ‘This is it. It’s going to be great.’ But I just don’t. I have no idea. So I’ll enjoy it as best I can. But at the same time – it would be one thing if we weren’t playing for anything, you know what I mean, and October was done. But I’m trying to work on stuff. I’m trying to get ready for October like we all are. If I knew this was my last regular-season start at Dodger Stadium, I would probably be sentimental more. But I just don’t have that right now.”
If this is truly the end of the line for the legend, the schedule couldn’t have aligned more perfectly than it did given the history between the two NL West rivals.
Some of Kershaw’s greatest moments have come against the Giants, a team he has owned to the tune of a 2.02 ERA over 383 innings spanning 55 starts and two relief appearances since 2008.
Even if he isn’t at 100% right now, Kershaw has indicated that he’s going to continue pitching through his shoulder woes as long as he can through the postseason.
Gutting through four innings on the road in Seattle in his last start what turned out to be the clinching game for the 2023 NL West crown, Kershaw’s indications to his rookie teammates to savor the moment could be signs of a looming retirement.
“You always think about last homestand, last playoffs, all that,” he acknowledged. “But I came to peace with it a long time ago.”
If this is truly the end of the road, even if the southpaw refuses to admit it himself, what a journey it’s been for the soon-to-be Cooperstown inductee.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!