Must win game on May 1st?

The Dodgers weren’t expected to win Monday with bullpen pitcher Ross Stripling going against Greinke and it played out as expected. Tonight is different, tonight Clayton Kershaw needs to be Clayton Kershaw and give the Dodgers a chance for victory.

Eight games back on May 1st with three games to go on the road against the hottest team in the NL just might qualify as a must-win game.   I hope Clayton is healthy because the Clayton we have seen the last two starts does not look like a healthy Kershaw.  If Clayton Kershaw has a big game in him, now would be the time to unveil it. Given the number of high-quality players missing from the Dodger offense and the recent ineffectiveness of the bullpen, he may need to throw seven scoreless innings and hope KJ and company can hold any lead they might have.

They have won the NL West Division by the following margins.

2013 11
2014 6
2015 8
2016 4
2017 11

The Diamondbacks are smelling blood and even as they are missing Ray/Walker/Lamb/Miller they continue to crush their opponents. An eight-game lead on the team that beat you by eleven games in the standings is impressive. If Kershaw can’t staunch the bleeding tonight, the Diamondbacks will be well on their way to another series victory and possibly a double-digit lead by the time this series is over.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m more interested to see how Kershaw looks in this game after his last outing than being concerned about the implications of winning or losing this game.
    He looked mighty shaky suddenly mid-game in his last start.
    I do not like thinking about him being back on the DL again for an extended period of time as he has been over the past two seasons.
    So I am always walking on eggshells now every time he takes the mound, every time he finds himself in an awkward position making a play.

    I do not like recalling the last days of Koufax’ and Drysdale’s careers either, but the memories of seeing them play live on for me.

    I feel that Kershaw will decline swiftly if the disc ruptures again.

    I just want to see him perform now and in the future.
    I’m not ready to switch over to the memories of Kershaw and his greatness.

    Regarding the team, my feeling is that if they can play .500 ball until the end of July, they still have a good shot at the playoffs in 2018.

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  2. I’ll be contrarian (also, because every pair of glasses I own has rose-colored lenses): the only must-win games are elimination games.

    Now, having said that, I will admit that at this point, the first wild card berth may be a more reasonable target than the division championship. AT THIS POINT. But look at how many games back we were in ’09, ’13, and even last year. It’s an uphill battle, but then, they all are.

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