Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw took a big step in rewriting his postseason narrative on Friday.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw just can’t pitch in the postseason, can he? Except for all those postseason starts where he’s completely locked in, operating on a level all his own consistent with everything he’s ever done in his big league career.
Should we just ignore those?
Regardless of the actual evidence on the table (for example, Kershaw passed Roger Clemens for the fourth-most playoff strikeouts of all time in Friday’s Game 2), 15-year-olds with active Twitter fingers will continue to call it like it kind of is. Instead of acknowledging the truth — that the usually brilliant Kershaw has been inconsistent in the month of October — the narrative has instead been twisted every which way to make him out to be a ghoul as Halloween approaches.
So, what’s Kershaw to do? Well, he needs a ring. We can all agree on that. And he needs to bulldoze the competition to get there, in order to satisfy the masses.
The lefty certainly took the first step on Friday, closing out the Milwaukee Brewers in grand style and owning every second of the narrative.
The numbers say it all.
Eight innings, 13K, all via breaking ball. A single walk (the runner was later picked off). Koufax-ian.
But just as important for Kershaw was the effortless nature with which the dominance came. Perhaps, with a 60-game slate of evidence on his arm instead of a 162-game slog, the pressure on the future Hall of Famer’s body will be lessened this October, even though the stakes are higher than ever. After all, if the Dodgers can’t win a ring this year, when is it coming?
Kershaw seems to know this, and when even one batter reached base in the eighth, it was clear he was dogged in pursuit of this tone-setting victory. He had no interest in seeing Dave Roberts, and went as far as to chase him back to the dugout with a withering stare.
For one night only, Clayton Kershaw has taken his postseason narrative by the reins.
There are more bridges to cross, but the first test was passed with flying colors and dipping benders.