The Mets won last night, and once again Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw did not come through in the postseason. He pitched a good game, but not a great game, and he got pinned with the L after the two runners he left on base in the seventh scored.
Folks are probably wondering about Kershaw at this point. Why can’t Kershaw do in the playoffs what he does in the regular season?
Well, really, he has done the same thing in the postseason as the regular season–that’s the problem.
Undoubtedly, some of Kershaw’s playoff results are just the result of dumb luck. But you can’t go 1-6 and lose five in a row in the postseason just on bad chance alone. Something’s not right there, despite Kershaw’s double digit strikeout performance against the Mets in Game 1.
Most likely, the problem is this: Kershaw is doing nothing different from what he has done in the regular season all these years–but that doesn’t cut it once the regular season ends. What works against the lineups of mopes you meet in regular season–the Diamondbacks, the Marlins, the Padres–stops working when you go against a playoff team. A playoff team is by definition a team that’s playing better than almost all the other teams in the league. You can’t do just as well against them and beat them; you have to do better than what you did before.
For several years now, Kershaw has not upped his game once the lights started shining brighter. He’s been good, but against the best that’s not good enough. Simple as that.
So how does Kershaw get better? Beats the hell out of me…and, if he doesn’t figure that out by Game 4’s first pitch, the Mets will be beating the hell out of him and the Dodgers–all the way into their off-season.