Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw exits with left forearm discomfort; playoff availability 'not looking great'

Clayton Kershaw is removed from the game in 2nd inning because of an apparent injury to his arm. (0:32).
Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers manager, saw Clayton Kershaw sometimes wince while navigating through the Milwaukee Brewers' lineup Friday night. He thought -- hoped -- that he was simply upset about not receiving any strike calls. The problem was far more serious. Kershaw had a recurrence in his forearm/elbow inflammation, which kept him out of the game for a prolonged period earlier in the season. This forced Kershaw to leave abruptly in the first inning.

Kershaw's season looks over as the playoffs approach. It's reasonable to wonder if Kershaw will also be leaving the Dodgers after his contract expires.

Kershaw was still wearing his uniform moments after the Dodgers' 8-6 victory. He called it "a tough loss."

Kershaw stated that "it just got worse enough to the point where I couldn’t keep going tonight." Kershaw said, "I'll have it checked again, obviously, within the next couple of days. I still haven't gotten it all figured out. It was the fact that I wanted to be part this team through October. This team is unique. Tonight was a great night. You saw tonight. That I knew. I know we are going to do something special this season, and I wanted the opportunity to be part of it. The hardest thing for me right now, is knowing that October doesn't look great.

Kershaw, 33 years old, spent 10 weeks recovering from inflammation in his pitching elbow. This injury occurred just before the All Star break. Kershaw admitted that he tried to get back too fast at the beginning, which forced him to re-start his rehab process slowly. Kershaw was eager to be a part of a team that is on the brink of greatness, and he joined the team in supporting Max Scherzer's acquisition.

His first three starts were promising with a 3.29 ERA and 16 strikeouts. There were only two walks in 13 innings. Kershaw was unable to overcome the Brewers in his last tune-up game before the postseason. Kershaw allowed five hits and recorded three outs. He was also charged with three earned runs. Five batted balls traveled more than 95 mph.

Roberts, along with a trainer wearing one-on and one-out in the top, checked on Roberts. After a short conversation, Roberts led the man off the mound to receive a standing ovation.

Roberts stated that it was hard. Roberts said that it was his last home-start this year. It's impossible to predict the future. It was meant to be a very special time for him and his family. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out the way we hoped. We need to find out more and figure out what the next steps are.

Kershaw was carrying the baseball in his hands as he walked towards third base at the Dodgers. It gave the impression that he was keeping a memento of what might have been his last start in a Dodgers uniform.

He laughed at that idea.

He said, "Probably just shock." "I honestly didn't know I was holding onto the ball."

Although the Dodgers won, their hopes of winning a ninth consecutive National League West title were not fulfilled. They have two regular-season games remaining, but are still two games behind San Francisco Giants who have won 22 out of 28 since September's start.

The Giants (106-54) could win the division by beating the San Diego Padres on Saturday, before the Dodgers take to the field for the penultimate regular season game. To force a tiebreaker at Oracle Park in San Francisco, the Dodgers (104-56) must win their remaining two games. The Giants (106-54) need to lose their remaining two games.

Most likely, the Dodgers will host St. Louis Cardinals in Wednesday's NL Wild Card Game. Scherzer will face Adam Wainwright. Walker Buehler or Julio Urias could pitch against the Giants in the first two games if they advance.

Kershaw, who won the elusive championship last Oct., won't likely be included.

He will be subject to further testing by the Dodgers on Saturday.

Roberts stated, "Obviously Clayton must come out of a match. It doesn't bode very well." We don't have enough information right now to know what that means. We are not optimistic about where we are in the season with what little is left.

Kershaw was the most prominent ace of the 2010s, especially in a five year stretch that ran from 2011 to 2015. He had 88 wins, a 2.11 ERA and averaged 226 innings. He also won three Cy Young Awards, an MVP, and won three Cy Young Awards. He suffered a lot of injuries, mostly to his back, but he still pitched among the best in the game, going 55-18 with a 2.47 ERA, an average of 166 innings, and a record of 5:18 from 2016 to 2019.

Kershaw experienced a bit of a revival during the COVID-19-shortened year. Kershaw's fastball velocity increased to nearly 92 mph and he posted a 2.16 ERA in 58/3 innings into October. The Dodgers played most of the postseason in Arlington, Texas. They were playing close to Kershaw's hometown. Kershaw was a long-time friend and family member.

The next chapter is not yet known.

Kershaw's 2021 will be the final year of a $93 million, three-year extension he signed in December 2018. It is expected to end with a 3.55 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 121 innings. He found a way to be extremely effective despite suffering from injury.

Kershaw stated, "My future is gonna take care itself." Kershaw said, "I don't really worry about that right now. I wanted to be part of the moment, and I wanted this group to continue through October. This was my sole focus for the year. It was to make up the month for what I had lost when I was hurt. The hardest part about this is that I know it will be difficult to contribute any time next month. It's not the end of the world. I'm still trying to understand it. "I'm excited to see these guys next month.