Clayton Kershaw: Playoff struggles for Dodgers ace on display again in loss to Braves - Sports Illustrated

Playoff Kershaw Is Real and Not Spectacular: Unchecked

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Playoff Kershaw is not a narrative. Clayton Kershaw doesn’t pitch as well in the playoffs as he does in the regular season and that’s a fact.

I think people just feel bad for him and therefore try to explain it away as some exaggerated thing. Let me be clear—what has happened is not all Kershaw’s fault. He’s had bad breaks and bats fail him. 

And perhaps he could’ve been pulled earlier by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

But in saying that, we’re talking about a supposed all-time great not being able to go 6 innings and being out-pitched by Bryse Wilson (I bet some of you just had to google that name). Is it too much to ask for a signature start from a future Hall of Famer?

When you're on that level, the criticism comes with the territory. This isn’t reserved for just him. The likes of Peyton Manning and Alex Rodriguez were dubbed postseason failures until they did enough to erase those labels. 

LeBron James was called not clutch after 2011 and has had looneys hanging on to that ridiculousness despite him being an absolute monster in big spots ever since. A guy like James Harden, who admittedly doesn’t have defining moments, but still has averaged over 28 points per game in his last four playoff appearances, is dogged by many for his postseason performances.

So, no, it is not unfair to point out Clayton Kershaw’s fall resume. He’s had plenty of chances to change the “narrative”. 

The problem for him is, the numbers tell the story.