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Redskins Rick

Kershaw's Playoff Woes

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https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/10/10/dodgers-lose-clayton-kershaw-postseason-struggles

Kershaw is probably one of the better SP of this decade.

12 Year career WAR sitting at 65.4 which is already HOF territory.

He has put his team on his cape and taken them into the playoffs, that you can almost pencil them in at the start of the season.

Yet, when it comes to his ability to pitch in the playoffs, he is a totally different pitcher.

Has there been anybody else in history like this?

Im sure there is and await @DrungoHazewood to educate me. :)

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It’s pretty astounding.   2.44 ERA in the regular season, 4.43 in the postseason.    I can’t think of a pitcher with substantial playoff experience who has a similar discrepancy.     

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58 minutes ago, Redskins Rick said:

Has there been anybody else in history like this?

I have to go across sports for modern Kershaw comps that feel relevant - Peyton Manning and Alex Ovechkin are the two I've thought of most, and I do hope (and think) Kershaw will ultimately get to a dogpile like those guys did.

https://www.mlb.com/news/best-players-in-mlb-history-to-never-win-a-world-series/c-40041796

This list from a few years back was all hitters - Cobb, Williams, Griffey among the most famous.

Juan Marichal (63 WAR) and Robin Roberts (86 WAR) were the two highest pitchers on this longer list.  Gaylord Perry (90 WAR) was also on it.

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1382148-ranking-the-40-greatest-mlb-players-never-to-win-a-world-series-title

A few years ago I would have been certain Kershaw was on a historical arc that would surpass Gaylord Perry easily, but the early injury phase since then - maybe his legacy does ultimately land more Koufax than Randy Johnson.

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

It’s pretty astounding.   2.44 ERA in the regular season, 4.43 in the postseason.    I can’t think of a pitcher with substantial playoff experience who has a similar discrepancy.     

I'm sure there are many, but it's all different now with expanded playoffs.  Kershaw has pitched in 32 postseason games, 158 innings.  HOFer Early Wynn pitched in four games, 20 innings, 4.95 ERA.  Robin Roberts started one postseason game in his career.  Phil Niekro pitched over 5400 innings, and allowed 11 runs in 14 postseason innings.  Fergie Jenkins never pitched a postseason game.  Bob Feller was 0-2, 5.02 in the postseason.  In two starts.  Hal Newhouser had a 6.53 ERA in his four postseason appearances. Gaylord Perry had a 6.14 ERA in his two postseason games.  Hoyt Wilhelm pitched 1072 major league games, two in the postseason.

CC Sabathia has roughly twice as many postseason starts as Mike Cuellar or Dave McNally.

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Well, by definition, the bottom 67% of lineups aren't there to pitch to, so that accounts for some of the disparity, all things being equal.  That alone wouldn't account for a 2 runs per game difference, though.

All I know is, Kershaw is a major reason that the Dodgers have played in so many playoff games during his tenure.  He plays on my team.

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3 hours ago, Frobby said:

It’s pretty astounding.   2.44 ERA in the regular season, 4.43 in the postseason.    I can’t think of a pitcher with substantial playoff experience who has a similar discrepancy.     

I remember Jack Morris doing great for the Tigers and Twins in post season, and then the opposite with Toronto. 

I dont recall Kershaw having any great moment in post season play, as the numbers can only indicate so much.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Redskins Rick said:

I remember Jack Morris doing great for the Tigers and Twins in post season, and then the opposite with Toronto. 

I dont recall Kershaw having any great moment in post season play, as the numbers can only indicate so much.

 

 

The Morris Game 7 in 1991 was absolutely epic, although he was very much aided by Lonnie Smith's awful baserunning in the 8th.  I don't remember how he pitched with Toronto in the playoffs, but it didn't matter because they won the Series.  Winning the title cures all and that is what magnifies so much for Kershaw.  I really do hope that he gets that ring at some point and plays a big part in it. 

Peyton Manning is an interesting comparison.  Early in his career, his biggest issue was Tom Brady and the Patriots.  They had some sort of mental hex on him, and it seemed like every playoff game was always in the awful weather of Massachusetts...giving birth to the "Manning Face."  Once he finally got them in the Dome in 2007, he led an amazing comeback en route to the title.  The Steelers had a Patriots problem also....losing to them in every meaningful game they played.  It is no coincidence that both Steelers super bowl championship seasons involved avoiding New England in the playoffs. 

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6 minutes ago, JR Oriole said:

The Morris Game 7 in 1991 was absolutely epic, although he was very much aided by Lonnie Smith's awful baserunning in the 8th.  I don't remember how he pitched with Toronto in the playoffs, but it didn't matter because they won the Series.  Winning the title cures all and that is what magnifies so much for Kershaw.  I really do hope that he gets that ring at some point and plays a big part in it. 

Peyton Manning is an interesting comparison.  Early in his career, his biggest issue was Tom Brady and the Patriots.  They had some sort of mental hex on him, and it seemed like every playoff game was always in the awful weather of Massachusetts...giving birth to the "Manning Face."  Once he finally got them in the Dome in 2007, he led an amazing comeback en route to the title.  The Steelers had a Patriots problem also....losing to them in every meaningful game they played.  It is no coincidence that both Steelers super bowl championship seasons involved avoiding New England in the playoffs. 

Toronto might have won the WS, but it was in spite of Morris:

1992 37 TOR AL WS W ATL 0 2 .000 8.44 2 2 0 0 0 0 10.2 13 10 10 3 6 1 12 0 0 1 50 1.781 11.0 2.5 5.1 10.1 2.00 -0.62

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Yeah I didn't remember Morris' outings in the 1992 World Series.  1993 as a World Series was more memorable of course, but what I remember most about those Jays teams were how ridiculously talented and deep they were.  I was 17-18 years old then, and whenever they played the Os, it felt like playoff games.  Toronto had no weaknesses.  Amazing they didn't win over 100 games in either of those years, but I don't recall teams tanking like they do now. 

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