Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw already has already received all the individual accolades he could possibly receive. In his seven-year career, he is a four-time All-Star, three-time Cy-Young award winner, Gold Glove award winner and NL MVP.
The only thing missing for the best pitcher in the game of baseball is the postseason success. The left-hander has struggled in the postseason, specifically against the St. Louis Cardinals in the last two seasons.
When talking with Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, another former Dodger great lefty pitcher, Sandy Koufax, said that Kershaw’s postseason struggles do not take away from what he accomplished in the regular season:
I don’t think so because I think he’ll be in a lot more postseasons and I think it will be totally turned around,” Koufax said. “The best pitcher in baseball is not going to have that happen probably never again.”
In Kershaw’s MVP and Cy Young campaign, he won 21 games while striking out 239 hitters with a 1.77 ERA. He has won the Cy Young award in three of the past four seasons (he came in second in 2012), and his career ERA of 2.48 is the lowest since the live ball era began in 1920 among starting pitchers who have thrown at least 1,000 innings.
Despite all of his regular season success, Kershaw has a career postseason record of 1-5 (0-4 against the Cardinals) and an ERA of 5.12. In 2014 the Cardinals were able to beat him twice, leading to a first-round playoff exit for the Dodgers.
Koufax said he was surprised the St. Louis Cardinals were able to twice beat Kershaw:
If somebody had told me anybody would beat Clayton twice in one series, I would have said, ‘No way,’” Koufax said. “I probably would have cursed and said that. But it happens.”
The past two postseasons Kershaw has had to throw on short rest against the Cardinals. Hopefully with the offseason acquisitions of starters Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson, he will not need to do that again in 2015.
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