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Kershaw speaks out on early postseason exit

@kengurnick
December 16, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- The father of two with a third on the way, an older and wiser Clayton Kershaw knows that life goes on, even after a crushing postseason elimination. Visibly distraught after the Dodgers' National League Division Series Game 5 loss to the Nationals two months ago, Kershaw spoke

LOS ANGELES -- The father of two with a third on the way, an older and wiser Clayton Kershaw knows that life goes on, even after a crushing postseason elimination.

Visibly distraught after the Dodgers' National League Division Series Game 5 loss to the Nationals two months ago, Kershaw spoke to the local media on Friday for the first time since and sounded as enthused and energetic about the 2020 season as the 300 children he helped entertain at Friday's annual Dodgers Children's Holiday Party, alongside teammates Alex Verdugo and Matt Beaty.

After snowball fights in the parking lot (manmade, with temperatures in the mid-70s), Kershaw discussed bouncing back from disappointment, monitoring the Hot Stove rumors and preparing for next year, which includes the expected arrival of child No. 3 next month.

On what went wrong: "It's a hard question for me to answer. Bluntly, postseason, if I pitch better, we probably are winning. So, it's like, it's not easy to answer. We're in a great spot again. Got a great team. We lost [Rich Hill], [Hyun-Jin Ryu], [Russell Martin]. But I think Andrew [Friedman, president of baseball operations] will make necessary adjustments where he sees fit and we'll be in a great spot to win the division again."

On bouncing back: "Every year is no fun. This year, the abruptness, the way it happened. It's no fun. It's not. It continues not to be. But you have two options: you can either crawl into a hole, or you can move on and try to get better for the next year. I don't want to crawl into a hole yet, so I'm going to try to get better for next year."

On the dichotomy of dominating a division but coming up short: "Over the years here, it's just, I'm thankful. I've said it before, not every player gets to be on a team in the position we are every single year. I'm thankful for that. I love being here, love being part of it. It's no fun to lose and be at the center of that. But, at the same time, I'm not ready to hang up yet. I want to keep trying and keep going. And the sentiment I got from the guys after, and talking to the guys after, [is] yeah, it sucks, but we feel good about our chances and we still want to get better. It's a good feeling, man. I feel we're right at the top of the NL again. With whatever happens between now and Spring Training or now and the Trade Deadline, [it] will only make us better."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.