Belonging in the realm of moon landing conspiracy theories, there are some people that think Clayton Kershaw is cursed in the seventh inning of postseason games. Entering the seventh of the Dodgers' 1-0 victory over the Cubs in Game 2 on Sunday, he had a 23.82 ERA in the the frame. So with two outs, a runner on first and Javier Baez coming to the plate, manager Dave Roberts came out for a chat.
Would he lift his ace starter for his shutdown closer, or would Roberts stare into Kershaw's eyes, see a fire burning brighter than anything in recorded history, and leave the lefty in? He chose to stick with the man who got them there, but panic may have come a moment later.
On a 1-0 fastball, Baez lifted a fly ball deep to center field. It was going, going ... and caught. Not only did Kershaw help put to death the seventh-inning narrative, but he looked pretty relieved, too:
The out also meant that Roberts wouldn't have to face a bevy of questions like "Why did you leave Kershaw in?" "Would you do anything differently if you could do it again?" "What does it feel like to be directly responsible for losing that game because you made the wrong decision?"
With all that stress falling away, Roberts could only laugh a hearty, maniacal laugh.
Can the Dodgers keep the laughing going in Game 3? Tune in to FS1 at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday to find out.