Thurm: When the greats falter in the postseason

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at on October 9, 2014:

Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball.

He led the majors with a sub-2.00 ERA this season and last. He’s a near shoe-in for his third National League Cy Young Award in four years when the hardware is handed out next month.

Dating back to the 2011 season, he’s struck out 27.3 percent of all batters he’s faced and walked only 5.8 percent in nearly 900 innings pitched. Only one other pitcher in major league history had two consecutive seasons of an ERA under 2.00 and a strike out rate over 25 percent: Sandy Koufax in 1963 and 1964.

Kershaw tossed his first no-hitter this season — on June 18 against the Colorado Rockies — and only an error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez kept it from being a perfect game. He is, by any measure, a once-in-a-generation talent. And he’s now lost four consecutive postseason starts — finding himself headed home for the winter earlier than expected for the second season in a row.

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Originally published: October 9, 2014. Last Updated: October 9, 2014.