The Kershaw dilemma
Even as Clayton Kershaw was pitching his gem last night it seemed that more folk were interested in mocking the haters and unbelievers than in enjoying one of the greatest World Series performances of the 21st century.
My thoughts on Kershaw entering every postseason is that the Dodgers will go as far as Clayton Kershaw can take them because every year he is the best player on this team. If Clayton falters the Dodgers falter, and the results bear this out.
Clayton Kershaw has to outpitch his opponent every time because his matchup is usually the best matchup the Dodgers will get in every postseason game.
In 2017 Kershaw has taken care of business and been the best pitcher on the mound in each of his four postseason starts. Sometimes just by a little.
You can’t measure Clayton Kershaw with a stat meant for mediocre pitchers like quality starts. Kershaw is a HOF pitcher who needs to be measured in a HOF way.
I won’t throw his postseason ERA at you because we know it is mostly based on 7th inning failures, so don’t throw the fact he’s thrown a whole bunch of quality starts at me. Did he outpitch his opponent in those quality starts? That is all I care about from the best pitcher in baseball.
I don’t know about the other Kershaw detractors, I don’t read them, I only know what I felt coming into 2017. Kershaw has pitched very well at times but the two times he really needed to pitch well he did not and those weren’t’ 7th inning implosion games, those were games the Dodgers needed to win to play another game and in both those games he never gave the Dodgers a chance. That is it. If you want to call that being a “hater” so be it. I call it an expectation based on a career of being the better pitcher over 90% of the time he takes the mound.
At no time I have ever said that Kershaw is not a good postseason pitcher, I have said repeatedly that the Dodgers will go as far as Kershaw can take them. You can validly say that is too much to put on one person. That is true, but I only expect Clayton to take care of his business every time he toed the mound, and I don’t think he has done that enough times given his pedigree. If the team has a weak bullpen he will need to overcome it. If he can’t (and he couldn’t) the team isn’t going to the World Series. I’m not sure why that is a controversial statement. If your best player has the chance to compensate for the weakness of a team and is unable to do so, it is likely not going to be a World Championship team.
This year he is taking them to a World Championship because this team has no weakness.
He just needs to keep doing his job.