Kershaw’s Game 7 was far from a storybook ending

11:31 AM ET

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers had a plan to make Clayton Kershaw a World Series champion, and probably a Game 7 hero, too. All of those doubts about his postseason chops — the one jagged edge on the smooth surface of his career — would be removed. Can’t you just see him holding up that trophy, the official cap backward on his head, his hair surfing his forehead, a crooked smile destined to be described as either “relieved” or “redemptive,” the headlines shouting “FINALLY”?

The successful implementation of the plan meant it would be his kids, not the ones wearing Astros orange, running all over the Dodger Stadium infield and doing cartwheels between third and home after Game 7 of the World Series. It would be Justin Verlander or Dallas Keuchel, and not him, standing in the dugout two hours after the last out, surveying the detritus of a celebration like a child with his face pressed to the glass. If the plan had been

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