Kershaw carries regular season form into World Series

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw shed post-season disappointments of the past as he dominated a dangerous Houston Astros lineup to help his side to a 3-1 victory in Game One of the World Series on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old, who has anchored the Dodgers rotation and battled through a back problem to post an 18-4 record with a 2.31 ERA this season, has perhaps unfairly become the face of the expensively-assembled team's failure to advance to the World Series despite making the playoffs every year since 2013.

SEE ALSO: Astros road struggles continue during World Series Game 1 loss

Until his World Series debut on Tuesday he had a 6-7 record in 17 previous post-season starts but finally replicated the form that has earned him three Cy Young Awards as he was virtually untouchable and allowed three hits and no walks.

"He was unbelievable," Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner told reporters. "And he's one of the most competitive people I've ever been around in my life.

"To see him out there doing what he did to one of the best offenses in baseball. It was incredible."

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Clayton Kershaw through his career
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Clayton Kershaw through his career
Oct 24, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws a pitch against the Houston Astros in the first inning in game one of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Bradbury/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 8: Candid portrait of Clayton Kershaw of the United States Futures Team before the game against the World Futures Team at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California on July 8, 2007. The World Team defeated the United States Team 7-2.. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre (R) watches Clayton Kershaw go through pitching drills during baseball spring training camp in Glendale, Arizona February 15, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Scuteri (UNITED STATES)
Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw pitches against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Los Angeles, October 3, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits in the dugout after being taken from the game in the sixth inning during play against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 of their Major League Baseball NLCS playoff series in Philadelphia, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning at their MLB National League baseball game at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia September 4, 2011. REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers' left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw, 23, addresses a news conference after winning the National League Cy Young Award in Los Angeles, California November 17, 2011. REUTERS/David McNew (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw looks on during a MLB spring training baseball camp in Glendale, Arizona, February 22, 2012. REUTERS/Rick Scuteri (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the third inning of their MLB Cactus League spring training baseball game in Glendale, Arizona, March 22, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph D. Freso (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Pitcher Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers answers questions before the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Home Run Derby in New York July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (R) jokes with teammate Skip Schumaker in the dugout before the start of their MLB baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, Arizona, September 17, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph D. Freso (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
October 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) celebrates the 4-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves following game four of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen pose on arrival at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Henderson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Jun 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) in the fourth inning of the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (8) holds back starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) after he was ejected in the seventh inning of the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) gets a champagne shower after the Dodgers beat the Giants to clinch the National League West title at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; National League pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws against the American League during the fifth inning of the 2015 MLB All Star Game at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
October 8, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw speaks with media following workouts before game one of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
April 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) is greeted after being relieved in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
April 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) and manager Dave Roberts (30) celebrate the 7-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 10, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; National League pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) of the Los Angeles Dodgers signs autographs during batting practice one day before the 2017 MLB All Star Game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws the ball during today's workouts a day prior to game 1 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during Game 1 of the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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Kershaw tossed 83 pitches in sweltering temperatures during a game that lasted just two hours and 28 minutes and the lefthander said he had felt no additional pressure.

"I don't know if you can decipher between a post-season start and a World Series start," Kershaw said. "The adrenaline, I feel like every game is so much more magnified.

"But it definitely feels good to say it was the World Series."

His performance also earned praise from his manager.

"Tonight was one of those nights I think, for the first time in a while, where we've seen all three of (Kershaw's) pitches synched up," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

"This was a special night for Clayton."

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