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(Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports)

Postseason Clayton Kershaw Isn’t As Bad As Some Think

(Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports)

Postseason Clayton Kershaw Isn’t As Bad As Some Think

It’s not a secret. Future Hall of Fame Dodgers Pitcher Clayton Kershaw doesn’t perform as well in Postseason play as he does during the regular season. Fans really love to emphasize his “choker” status, but is he really that bad? Not as terrible as some make him out to be.

Kershaw seems to endure more tough luck rather than bad pitching in the Dodgers Postseason. A good statistic to implement is WHIP, or Walks and Hits over innings pitched. In 194 career postseason innings, Kershaw’s WHIP is 1.044. This is not all. He also just claimed the top spot for most strikeouts in postseason history.

A stat that isn’t shown enough is SIERA or Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average. This basically takes out factors that the pitcher cannot control, such as a hitter-friendly ballpark or bad defense. Essentially, anything under 3 is excellent. Kershaw’s Postseason career SIERA is 2.98.

These results are absolutely impressive. Now let’s compare it to other current pitching greats who really don’t get the backlash Kershaw does. The results may surprise you.

Kershaw has a better career Postseason SIERA than Max Scherzer who sits at 3.11. Verlander? He’s at 3.27. Clayton also has a better WHIP than Max Scherzer, who’s at a 1.12. Justin Verlander’s sits at 1.10. Justin Verlander actually has almost exactly the same about of postseason innings pitched at 191.

Keep in mind, Verlander and Scherzer are future Hall of Famers as well. They’ve had unbelievable careers. Do people talk shit about them in the Postseason? Absolutely not as much as they do for Clayton Kershaw.

Believe it or not, but two days ago, Justin Verlander had an atrocious start against the Seattle Mariners for Game One of the ALDS. The Astros’ ace allowed six runs on 10 hits in four innings. He earned the no-decision, as his team came back and won.

What did Mets ace Max Scherzer do against the Padres during game one of the Wild Card Series? He allowed seven runs including four home runs in 4.2 innings pitched. He earned the loss.

Clayton Kershaw yesterday pitched 5 innings, allowing 3 runs and striking out six against the Padres during Game 2 of the NLDS. Bad luck was pursued, especially a key weakly hit single by Ha-seong Kim. Kershaw earned the no-decision. His opponent, Padres ace Yu Darvish, also allowed three runs.

What did Clayton receive after his start? Backlash. This horrible Barstool article complains about the fact that he still chokes. Read it here. What did Darvish receive? Quite the contrary. This article talks about how Darvish was able to overcome adversity. Keep in mind, this was written by a Dodgers beat writer.

My message here is to stop the Kershaw slander. He is indeed one of the all-time greatest pitchers. Pitching in the Postseason is incredibly difficult, and is a whole different beast from the regular season as seen by what happened to Scherzer as well as Verlander. So cut Clayton some slack. That’s all.

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