Clayton Kershaw has a reputation. He is widely regarded as the best pitcher of his generation, but once he gets to the postseason, he struggles for some reason. Kershaw’s regular season ERA is 2.36 and his WHIP is 1.002 — those numbers jump to 4.40 and 1.129, respectively, once he gets to the playoffs. That ERA is the kind of thing you’d take out of your fourth starter, but for someone like Kershaw, it’s not ideal.
So when Kershaw took the bump on Tuesday night for Game 1 of the World Series against the vaunted Houston Astros lineup, those concerns popped up. This was also the case because he hasn’t looked like Clayton Kershaw thus far this postseason. Weird things happen when you constrict sample sizes to a handful of starts, and in the small sample size of three playoff games, Kershaw’s been a little off.
Apparently, all Kershaw needed was to get to the World Series for him to remind everyone why he’s really, really close to being baseball immortality. The Dodgers’ ace threw a gem during his first career World Series start, going seven almost sterling innings and striking out 11 Astros in Los Angeles’ 3-1 win. He allowed three hits and one run — a fourth inning homer to Alex Bregman — but otherwise, Kershaw mowed dudes down all evening. To boot, he did it quickly, as he only threw 83 pitches on the night.