Clayton Kershaw names Austin Slater, Wilmer Flores among toughest at-bats

Two Giants players on Kershaw's list of toughest at-bats originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

There are two Giants hitters in particular who strike fear into the heart of Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw every time they step up to the plate.

Kershaw joined teammate Mookie Betts on the latest episode of his podcast "On Base," where Betts asked him to name his top-five toughest at-bats.

The first three players should come as no surprise. Kershaw names St. Louis Cardinals sluggers Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt plus San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado. However, the fourth is former Colorado Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler.

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Kershaw then lists a couple of Giants hitters as honorable mentions.

"I haven't faced a lot of guys in the AL yet like [Aaron] Judge or [Vladimir Guerro Jr.] I don't face those guys enough," Kershaw explained. "Sometimes it's those guys that are the platoon righties that get in there, like Austin Slater with the Giants, Wilmer Flores. Those guys ... "

Slater is 6-for-22 lifetime against Kershaw with three homers, while Flores has faced Kershaw more than any pitcher in his career and is 9-for-35 with two doubles, one homer and four RBI.

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Betts then asks Kershaw which hitter, past or present, he would like to pitch against. Once again naming a Giants hitter, his answer should not surprise you.


"I'd like to face Barry Bonds. He retired in 2007, I got called up in 2008," Kershaw added. "I missed him. Him and [Ken Griffey Jr.] both retired before I got in."

Outside of Slater and Flores, Kershaw historically has ownage over just about every Giants hitter who has faced off against the future Hall-of-Famer throughout his illustrious 16-year career.

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