Clayton Kershaw says three of his ‘toughest at-bats’ are against Cardinals

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LOS ANGELES – Clayton Kershaw, one of the most prolific pitchers in 21st-century baseball, has an interesting history against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Clayton Kershaw made his MLB debut against the Cardinals in 2008. He’s 10-6 against St. Louis all-time in the regular season with a 3.00 ERA over 135 innings. However, that hasn’t generally translated to postseason success against the Cardinals, as Kershaw is winless against them in five head-to-head starts.

On Tuesday, in a recent episode of Bleacher Report’s digital series “On Base With Mookie Betts,” Kershaw offered some interesting insight with a Cardinals connection.

Betts, a teammate of Kershaw’s on the Los Angeles Dodgers for the last four seasons, asked the southpaw to reflect on his “five toughest at-bats” at the MLB level. Kershaw couldn’t quite come up with five definitive answers, but he immediately named four players that came to mind.

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His list included two current Cardinals and one former Cardinal. He says Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler have historically been tough customers.

“Nolan’s definitely up there. He gets me, man. He’s definitely a tough out,” said Kershaw.

“Goldy,” he added without much context, followed by also naming San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado.

“Dexter Fowler, you remember Dexter? Gahh… When he was in Colorado, I don’t think I ever got him out. The numbers are bad,” said Kershaw.

Arenado, Goldschmidt and Fowler all share one common link. They spent several years in the NL West before joining the Cardinals. Their division matchups with the Dodgers could set them up for several starts against Kershaw on any given year, offering plenty of opportunity to make adjustments.

All three have had various levels of success against Kershaw from their days in the NL West and beyond:

Arenado is 22-for-77 (.306 batting average) with 5 home runs and 12 RBI.

Goldschmidt is 14-for-65 (.215 batting average) with 3 home runs and 9 RBI.

Fowler is 20-for-51 (.392 batting average) with no home runs and only 1 RBI, but an intriguing 16 singles.

Kershaw is a three-time NL Cy Young winner and a 10-time All-Star. He also won the NL MVP Award in 2012 and a World Series title in 2020. Kershaw is currently a free agent, but a return to the Dodgers seems to be the most likely scenario if he continues to play baseball this upcoming season.


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