Madison Bumgarner, Tom Seaver, and Jack Morris. Three guys who had some of the clutchest performances of all time in the postseason. Each went the extra mile every year, and in MadBum’s case, pitched almost every game of the 2014 run to the winning the World Series. The consistency of these pitchers in the postseason played a big part in what made these guys legendary… Then there’s Clayton Kershaw.
The left handed pitcher entered the eighth inning of the Game five to face the heart of the Nationals lineup, with a two run lead. First up, Anthony Rendon, hits a BOMB to pull them within one. Then just a few pitches later, Juan Soto unleashes slider hung by Kershaw and sends it over 400 feet. This moment exemplifies the simple fact that Clayton Kershaw is not clutch.
Regular season Kershaw is a different story. He’s led all of baseball in ERA five different times, and strikeouts on three different occasions. Every year that he was in contention for the CY Young award, he finished no lower than fifth in the voting. He’s also won the award three times and the MVP once. Regular season Kershaw is one of the best pitchers of this generation, but once the games REALLY matter, he is nowhere to be found.
His postseason stats aren’t alarming. His ERA during his time playing in October is a 4.43, which may not seem too bad. On paper, he could be considered a “good” postseason pitcher, but we’ve seen his lack of clutchness. It isn’t about what one does throughout the postseason, it is about the biggest moments, and as we’ve seen multiple times, including last night, he isn’t a viable option when the game is on the line.
Clayton Kershaw has a chance to go down as one of the better pitchers the game has ever seen, but when it comes to the postseason, he is the complete opposite.