It’s over, and it wasn’t a good finish for the Dodgers-in more ways than one.
If losing the best-of-seven World Series to Boston in five games wasn’t bad enough, their ace pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, who allowed home runs to Steve Pearce, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez in Sunday’s finale, could say farewell and exercise an opt out clause and walk away from the final two years and remaining $65 million contact with the club.
Kershaw, who has three days to make a decision, talked about his future following the Dodgers 5-1 deciding game defeat Sunday as the Red Sox won the series 4 games to one. It marked the second straight year the Dodgers fell short in winning the Fall Classic.
“I haven’t made the decision yet,” Kershaw told the media at the conclusion of the series. “We have three days to talk with the Dodgers, see what happens. And then we’ll go from there.”
Rich Hill, the fourth starter in the Dodgers rotation, stressed the importance of Kershaw Kershaw on the club. “Clayton is the Dodgers,” he said. “He’s the heart and soul of this organization. You look at a guy like that, put it on the line for so many years and had so much success here, I just hope they do the right things.”
Dodger Manager Dave Roberts also knows the importance of having Kershaw on the roster and what it means to the organization. “Whatever decision he makes, that is with him and his family. But for me to be on this team three years, I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him, and will take that going forward.”
Watching the pounding his top pitcher took from Boston hitters was not easy for the Dodgers’ manager. “This one hurts for all of us,” said Roberts. “But the effort, the preparation, all the hard work that he has put in, for me is unparalleled.”
David Freese gave the Dodgers their only run when he homered in the bottom of the first. By then Kershaw was already struggling after giving up two runs in the top half of the inning and two more – in the sixth and another in the seventh – before making his departure.
“There’s only one team that can win and we know that, but it just hurts worse when you make it all the way and get second place,” said Kershaw. “So having that two years in a row now, it doesn’t make it any easier. I’m proud to be part of a group that did get to the World Series two years in a row. Proud of that. Proud of what we were able to accomplish this year as a team. And anytime you lose the last game when you’re in the playoffs, it’s no fun. So, yeah, just some disappointment right now for sure.”