Clayton Kershaw defies postseason reputation with impressive Game 1 start
Clayton Kershaw defied his reputation as a postseason choker with an impressive start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 8-3 Game 1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday night.
Kershaw pitched six innings and allowed just one run, two hits, a walk and had eight strikeouts in the game. About his only mistake was a solo home run to Kevin Kiermaier in the fifth inning.
Kershaw entered the game 11-12 with a 4.78 ERA in the postseason. He had a career 1-2 record and 5.40 ERA in the World Series over 26.2 innings. To see him come out and dominate for six innings in such a big game was a surprise.
But Kershaw actually has a record amount of starts in the postseason of at least six innings with no more than one earned run and one walk.
This was Clayton Kershaw’s ninth career postseason start of 6+ IP and no more than 1 earned run and 1 walk. Most in MLB history.
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) October 21, 2020
The Dodgers southpaw is now up to 200 career postseason strikeouts and is five behind Justin Verlander’s postseason record of 205.
What this tells us is that despite all his struggles, Kershaw has also had plenty of good starts in the postseason. And in general, the guy has just gotten many more opportunities in the postseason than most players. Since making his MLB debut in 2008, the Dodgers have made the playoffs in 10 of 13 seasons.