Kershaw does have some pretty amazing company on one list:
Worst ERA when facing elimination (Min. 20 IP):
Tim Wakefield - 6.75Clayton Kershaw - 5.77Roger Clemens - 5.28Pedro Martinez - 5.17
(Not sure how many innings you're talking about with Clemens and Martinez--I'm guessing Kershaw's logged a few more.)
― clemenza, Friday, 11 October 2019 13:30 (nine months ago) link
“Clayton Kershaw has been a mediocre postseason pitcher”
Overall, that is a true statement, and I don't think anyone is saying otherwise.
― a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 October 2019 16:25 (nine months ago) link
and Willie Mays had his best postseason at age 40
so hang on for redemption, Clayton.
― a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 October 2019 16:29 (nine months ago) link
Conversely, I've never once used words like "choker" or "character" as an explanation for any of this--you kind of implied that that's where I was coming from last year, and it's simply not true.
I posted something similar yesterday; assuming he's around for another five or six seasons, I think Kershaw will eventually have a postseason similar to Price's last year (which I loved).
― clemenza, Friday, 11 October 2019 16:46 (nine months ago) link
no clem, I'm caricaturing the sound of the mob (ie the worst online Dodgers fans). sorry if you thought otherwise.
― a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 October 2019 16:47 (nine months ago) link
Kershaw 2.0 is definitely a different player than Kershaw 1.0, his curveball is flatter and hangs a bit more in the strike zone. His new pitch (slurvy-slider) doesn't have enough zip, and his fastball is uh...
― Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 11 October 2019 17:43 (nine months ago) link
someone somewhere was noting that his fastball and slider are now only 3mph apart -- throwing a harder fastball seems unlikely, but perhaps slowing down the slider would do enough to upset timing
― mookieproof, Friday, 11 October 2019 18:44 (nine months ago) link
(xpost) Fair enough.
I read that he's held in such high esteem by his teammates, they were going above and beyond when it came to consoling him.
― clemenza, Friday, 11 October 2019 19:09 (nine months ago) link
Interesting piece for a couple of days ago:
It falls about halfway on things we've been kicking around here: important metrics that are almost the same for him in the regular- and post-season (strikeout and walk rate), one that's much worse (HR).
It does give credence to the idea that it may be tied in with "the little voice in the back of your head":
That’s the math of the situation; it can’t change the feeling, though, the little voice in the back of your head that says “Hey, are you ready for this?” every time Kershaw pitches in October. And if the voice is in your head, you can be sure it’s in Kershaw’s too, every time he gives up a home run or a chain of singles. Is this all luck? Could it possibly be luck? How can it keep happening to me? Am I tipping my pitches? Pressing too hard? Not pressing hard enough?
Saying that someone might be pressing is, to me, just the flip side of saying clutch-hitting doesn't exist. (Which I agree with, although I'd allow that there are probably very isolated cases of players who do consistently perform well under pressure--an argument for somewhere else.) Sabermetrics doesn't buy clutch-hitting because a) the evidence isn't there, and b) why would it be?--you'd have to believe that athletes have some magical ability to change their abilities at key moments. But I also believe that athletes don't have magical abilities to not fall prey to something very human: that doubt creeps in when you don't succeed a few times in the same situation. It doesn't mean that you don't occasionally succeed--get a big hit, pitch a good game--just that the doubt lingers if you also keep back-stepping, and continues to linger until you definitively close that door, like Price did last year. I don't think Kershaw has done that yet. But I think he will at some point.
― clemenza, Sunday, 13 October 2019 18:15 (nine months ago) link
Believing in clutchness doesn't have to be tied in to a belief that someone can do it over an extended period of time. Someone can be clutch on a given day, where they do something they might not have done on another day because they were in a different frame of mind or they told themselves definitively, "I am going to do this now and I am not going to take no for an answer." I think that kind of stuff happens all the time.
― timellison, Sunday, 13 October 2019 23:06 (nine months ago) link