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Coming off his age-35 campaign, a brutal postseason start, and a stunning NLDS sweep to the Diamondbacks, is Dodgers legendary moundsman Clayton Kershaw pondering retirement? That appears to be an open question after Kershaw's recent remarks. 

Kershaw was asked about his future following the Dodgers' elimination in Wednesday's Game 3 loss to Arizona. His response was succinct but notable for its uncertainties: 

"I don't know how to answer that right now," Kershaw told reporters

Still raw, no doubt, is his performance in Game 1 of the series, when he allowed six runs to the Diamondbacks and was able to record only one out before being pulled. Fair or not, it was the latest example of a playoff misstep by Kershaw, whose numbers in the postseason haven't risen to his singular excellence in the regular season. 

Kershaw was outstanding on a rate-basis in 2023, but his season was compromised by shoulder issues an ongoing velocity loss. Injuries and diminished stuff have been a leading subplot during the latter half of Kershaw's career, but when healthy he's still been able to achieve excellence. 

He returned for the 2023 season on a one-year, $20 million contract, so free agency awaits him should he decide to return for his age-36 season. The disappointments of another untimely playoff exit for the Dodgers are probably being too keenly felt right now to make a clear-headed decision. Kershaw no doubt knows this, which is why he's probably being honest when he says he doesn't know how to answer the question at this juncture. 

Whatever the future holds for the decorated lefty, a first-ballot spot in the Hall of Fame surely awaits him. For now, though, the latest sting of October is probably crowding out all other considerations.