World Series Game 5 start is the latest ‘biggest game of Clayton Kershaw’s career’

The latest “biggest start of Clayton Kershaw’s career” — how many times have we heard that one? — happens on Sunday night, in Game 5 of a World Series that’s knotted at two games apiece after Tampa Bay’s wild, more-than-slightly-unbelievable come-from-behind-with-two-outs win in the fourth contest of the series. 

All eyes will be on Kershaw, the future Hall of Famer who owns a complicated, convoluted postseason legacy. But Game 5 isn’t about his legacy, at least not for Kershaw, and not for the Dodgers. At least not quite yet. Legacy talk is retrospective.

MORE: Kershaw’s playoff stats, explained

For the big lefty who has a rocking chair on the back veranda at the Otesaga Hotel in Coopertown already reserved and waiting, Game 5 is about trying to help his teammates finally win the franchise’s first World Series championship since the year he was born (1988).

For a long time Saturday

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MLB playoffs 2020 — Clayton Kershaw’s latest high-stakes start could be the most important of his career

ARLINGTON, Texas — Clayton Kershaw’s 2020 season at times seemed to resemble a dreamscape. There was the vintage summer, which saw him tap back into the type of stuff that seemed to be lost forever. And the dominant postseason opener, a stark reminder of the flaws in the narrative of his playoff career. And the setting for the bulk of his October — minutes away from his home in Dallas, a fitting stage for the World Series trophy that still famously eludes him.

The wake-up call came late Saturday afternoon, during a routine bullpen session, with a shooting pain Kershaw had probably experienced countless times before. His back spasmed. The National League Championship Series — the rest of this storybook season — was suddenly in jeopardy. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ training staff spent the next 48 hours working diligently to relieve the pain in Kershaw’s back in time for him

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