Clayton Kershaw gets 1st home playoff win despite giving up 4 homers

ByBradford Doolittle ESPN logo
Saturday, October 7, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw became the first pitcher in franchise history to allow four homers in a postseason game, giving up four solo shots Fridayin Los Angeles' 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

Kershaw became the first pitcher to give up that many homers and still win a postseason outing and, continuing a night of firsts, he also recorded his first playoff win at Dodger Stadium.

"As great of a pitcher and career that he's had, that's surprising," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I'm glad I was part of his first postseason home win."

Kershaw entered the game with a 4.55 career playoff ERA, well above his career regular-season mark of 2.36. He pitched into the seventh inning against Arizona, giving up only five hits despite the four homers. Afterward, the long-ball barrage was mostly shrugged off by the Dodgers in the afterglow of their win.

All four homers Kershaw gave up were solo shots: A.J. Pollock in the third and J.D. Martinez in the sixth, then back-to-back homers in the seventh byAdam Rosalesand Ketel Marte. They were the last hitters Kershaw faced.

"For him, that part of the order, I felt good with him going back out there," Roberts said. "Obviously, there was some hard contact from that part of the order, and it was nice to go to the pen there."

Kershaw admitted that by that point he was fatigued.

"I just didn't have much left, I don't know," Kershaw said. "Hopefully when you give up hits, maybe one or two would stay in the ballpark. But tonight it didn't seem like that was going to happen."

The Dodgers had built a 7-1 lead by the time Kershaw gave up his last trio of homers, something teammate Justin Turner pointed out changes the context of the homers as more of an oddity than anything.

"I thought he was outstanding and challenged guys, pitching with the lead, like he should," Turner said. "Yeah, he gave up four solo homers, but who cares? When you have a lead like that, it's about attacking guys."

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