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 (one year 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 (one year ago) link
He's pretty dominant every which way this season. Did he make some change that's returned him to what he was five years ago, or is he just having a good run? Five of his six starts have been good-to-great.
― clemenza, Saturday, 5 September 2020 17:55 (five months ago) link
In a day of a billion I Told You So's, I thought for sure there'd be one from Morbius on this thread.
― clemenza, Saturday, 3 October 2020 03:50 (four months ago) link
saw v little of Kershaw game tbh
― brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 October 2020 15:38 (four months ago) link
Playoff Kershaw returned last night with a typical performance ... dominated into the 6th and started serving up longballs (although he made a good pitch to Machado).
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 8 October 2020 07:22 (four months ago) link
roberts needs to treat kershaw like any other playoff starting pitcher - first sign of trouble, get him out of there. no need to go through the lineup a 3rd time.
― president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 8 October 2020 14:49 (four months ago) link