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The Sports Daily > Cards Diaspora
The Curious Case Of Clayton Kershaw Persists

Listen, you’re never going to convince me that there will ever be a better World Series game than 2011’s 6th.

I’m highly biased, though.

If I wasn’t, I could make a very strong case for the game we saw last night between the Astros and Dodgers.

Maybe Houston is able to close out the series in LA. Maybe the Dodgers battle back and this becomes truly a fall classic.

Either way…

Clayton Kershaw wrote another chapter in what is turning out to be an oddly dichotomous career.

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Bill James created the ‘Hall of Fame Monitor‘, as a way to see what chance a player that isn’t yet eligible for the HOF has of getting in once they’ve been retired for 5 years.

A 100+ score means a ‘good chance’. A 130+ score is a virtual lock.

Clayton Kershaw currently has a score of 164. He could retire after this World Series and he would be enshrined in Cooperstown.

He won’t.

He’ll be back in 2018 putting up more stats and building a (realistic) case that he’s the best pitcher to ever play the game of baseball.

It’s still 2017, though, and the Dodger Ace just doused a smoldering fire with lighter fluid.

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Sunday night was the biggest game of Kershaw’s career.

  • 4.2 innings pitched
  • 6 earned runs

And a record that will be brought up almost every single time anyone mentions how great he’s pitching in 2018:

There have been worse postseason starts.

But considering the player involved, there might not be one that will have as lasting of an impact on people’s perception of a pitcher.

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The Cardinals started the narrative.

From 2013-2014 Kershaw started 4 games against the Cardinals in the postseason.

  • 22.2 innings pitched
  • 24 hits surrendered
  • 18 earned runs
  • 4 Dodgers losses

Both years he was the Cy Young Award winner. In 2014, he was the NL MVP.

His overall postseason stats are better, but by no means in-line with his prodigious talent and regular season results.

  • 7-7 record
  • 4.50 ERA
  • 118 IP versus 95 hits
  • 1.102 WHIP

Superman in the regular season. Super average in October.

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The storyline was starting to shift.

Before last night’s game, Kershaw was 3-0 in the ’17 postseason with a 2.96 ERA. He was good in GM1 of the World Series giving up only 3 hits and 1 run in the Dodgers 3-1 win.

Even a solid no-decision last night would have put to bed the ‘Kershaw can’t do it in the postseason’ talk.

And yet, here we are.

A stupid Cardinals blog talking about how hard it is for Kershaw to ‘do it in the postseason’.

There’s no insightful commentary I can make.

No suggestions I can offer Mr. Kershaw (I’m sure he’ll get plenty).

All I can do is point out how odd it is to have so much confidence in a pitcher from April through September, only to find a much different player in October.

Photo: AM 860