As it stands right now, Clayton Kershaw’s career WHIP (walks + hits / innings pitched) stands at 0.9996.
In the history of baseball, there have only been 2 pitchers that have managed a career WHIP under 1.0000 while pitching over 1,000 innings – Addie Joss and Ed Walsh (both of whom played back when the Cubs were back to back World Series champs in 1907/08).
For what it’s worth, Joss and Walsh are both Hall of Fame enshrinees.
Kershaw is, without question, one of the best pitchers to ever play baseball. Except when he plays against the Cardinals.
Last night, Kershaw crafted a gem.
He was two outs away from a complete game shutout when, well…
He finished the 9th and ended up getting a no-decision, showing that the Cardinals have some sort of a magical control over Kershaw when the stakes are high.
Moral victories against elite players, though, aren’t going to punch any postseason entry passes. The Cardinals wasted a brilliant start by Lance Lynn when the Dodgers walked off the Cardinals in the bottom of the 13th.
Extra innings have not been kind to the Cardinals in 2017:
- 4/25 vs Blue Jays (11) L
- 4/27 vs Blue Jays (11) W
- 5/1 vs Brewers (10) L
- 5/7 vs Braves (14) W
- 5/17 vs Red Sox (13) L
- 5/20 vs Giants (13) L
- 5/23 vs Dodgers (13) L
The Cardinals are now 2-5 in extra inning games, 4-6 in their last 10 and 22-20 overall, tied with the Chicago Cubs for 2nd in the NL Central. This team is everything (2 amazing starts in the span of a week, magic against Kershaw late) and less than everything (bad defense, shaky bullpen, et al) at the same time.
But if you’re looking for hysteria… I can’t provide it today.
The Cardinals faced the best player in baseball at the peak of his powers and clawed their way into the Dodgers bullpen. Lance Lynn looked great… and truth be told, that could have been the start that priced him out of the Cardinals comfort zone when he looks for a new contract after the season. In a battle of bullpens, the Cardinals cracked first.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
Tough loss. You hope they can move on.
As the season lurches towards June, the NL Central appears to be shaping up into more of a brawl than it was in 2016. If the Cardinals can keep their heads above .500, they might have a puncher’s chance. They’ll lace ’em up again tonight and see what happens.
Tip of the cap to Kershaw and Lynn.
Let’s hope we see them do this again in October.