The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw are World Series champions. The Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night by 3-1, winning the best-of-seven series 4-2, and capturing the title for the first time since 1988.
Clayton Kershaw, arguably one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the sport, who has had near unrivaled regular season success, racking up three Cy Young awards (2011,’13’,14’), the triple crown (2011), and a rare MVP for a pitcher (2014), but had been unfairly labeled a postseason choker, can finally put that narrative to rest. The one honor that had escaped him, a World Series trophy, is now part of his exceptional bio.
“We won the World Series,” Kershaw gleefully said to reporters after the Dodgers held off the tenacious Rays. “I don’t care about legacy. I don’t care about what happened last year. I don’t care about what people think … The 2020 Dodgers won the World Series. Who cares about all that other stuff?!”
Kershaw has been scrutinized for his almost lackluster performances in the biggest moments of his career. His regular season dominance has not always translated well into his World Series appearances, giving up a total of 16 runs in 26.2 innings pitched in his previous two, Dodgers losses to the Houston Astros in 2017 and the Boston Red Sox in 2018.
After going 2-0 in two starts against the Rays, with a 2.31 ERA in 11.2 innings pitched, the 32-year-old from Dallas, Texas has now silenced some of his critics. And it’s all the more symmetric and full circle that Kershaw has done so playing the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, a few miles from his home.
Kershaw’s playoff statistics now stand at 13-12, with a 4.19 ERA, and a franchise record 207 strikeouts in 189 innings pitched.