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Dylan Hernandez: Dodgers' Kershaw is tasked with gaining back World Series' momentum in Game 5

By Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

He was uncertain whether the value of pitchers were accurately reflected by their win-loss record. He wasn't about earned-run average or strikeouts either.

When Clayton Kershaw was at the height of his powers, the statistical category he cherished most was innings pitched.

Kershaw was less concerned about how glamorous he appeared than how dependable he was to his teammates.

His innings count was a measure of that.

Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers on Sunday night in Game 5 of the World Series.

The game was expected to be a coronation, with Kershaw assigned to receive the crown.

 

A phenomenal ninth-inning meltdown changed the plans. Instead of moving to within a victory of their first championship in 32 years, the Dodgers lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7. A series that was basically over was suddenly tied at 2-2.

As the player who most personified the team's succession of postseason failures, Kershaw deserved to start the potential clincher.

But this will be equally appropriate.

He will do something less glorious, but more important.

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