MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers have been conservative with their handling of Clayton Kershaw this postseason, more inclined to start him on extra rest than short rest. But with their season down to a single game, things were understandably different on Saturday night.
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Manager Dave Roberts called on Kershaw to close out Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on two days' rest after an outstanding start in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. The Dodgers' ace delivered a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts to secure the NL pennant with a 5-1 win and advance Los Angeles to the World Series against the Red Sox.
"It doesn't matter how you get there," Kershaw said after the game. "But to get to go back after last year is unbelievable. Where we came from this year, it's a testament to these guys, man. It's a great group. We're excited, we're gonna celebrate tonight, but we don't want to lose again, so we'll be ready to go."
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Kershaw entered Saturday having made five career postseason relief appearances to go along with his 22 starts. He threw four innings without allowing a run in Game 7 of last year's World Series, also on two days' rest after a Game 5 start.