Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and that didn’t go as well as expected.
The World Series
So, the bad Clayton Kershaw showed up last night. The bad Clayton Kershaw seems to come out a lot in the postseason. Some people think his poor postseason numbers aren’t his fault. But great pitchers will pitch themselves out of jams. Kershaw seems to have problems with that in the playoffs.
Let’s see how many Dodger pitchers we can list that have better career postseason ERAs with the Dodgers than Kershaw, since the modern era began in 1901.
We’ll start with the all-times wins leader and work our way down that list.
Kershaw’s ERA in his postseason career: 4.28
Don Sutton (233 wins), 3.34
Don Drysdale (209), 2.95
Dazzy Vance (190) never pitched in postseason with Dodgers
Brickyard Kennedy (177) never pitched in postseason with Dodgers
Sandy Koufax (165), 0.95
Burleigh Grimes (158), 4.19
Kershaw is here, seventh, on the all-time Dodgers win list with 153
Claude Osteen (147), 0.86
Fernando Valenzuela (141), 1.98
Johnny Podres (136), 2.11
OK, that’s the top 10 in wins. How much lower do we have to go?
Orel Hershiser (135), 1.71
Nap Rucker (134), 0.00
Adonis Terry (126) played in the 1890s. The World Series started in 1903.
Ramon Martinez (123), 5.84
We have a winner! Ramon Martinez has a worse postseason ERA than Kershaw. Let’s round out the top 20 though.
Don Newcombe (123), 8.59
Carl Erskine (122), 5.83
Bob Welch (115), 5.87
Jeff Pfeffer (113), 1.98
Burt Hooton (112), 3.17
Bob Caruthers (110) pitched in the 1880-90s.
So, let’s eliminate the four pitchers who didn’t pitch in the World Series era. That means of the 16 remaining top Dodgers wins leaders of all time, Kershaw ranks 12th in ERA. And if we went down the list more, he would fall further down the list.
The Dodgers have won six consecutive division titles, and a lot of that is because of Kershaw. But they have failed to win the World Series, and a lot of that is because of Kershaw too. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be revered as a great pitcher, but if it’s Game 7, I’m going with Koufax. Or Drysdale. Or Hershiser. Or Fernando. Or …. Well, you get the picture.
—When the Red Sox took a 2-0 lead, Joe Buck all but hailed Boston as the 2018 World Series champs. When he comes to Dodger Stadium over the weekend, please boo him unmercifully.
—I’m sure glad the Dodgers took Caleb Ferguson off the roster and left Alex Wood on. The official reason is because Ferguson can’t pitch in back-to-back games.
—In 5 2/3 postseason innings, Wood has given up seven hits, walked three and given up three home runs.
—If the Dodgers don’t start playing better defense, this series will be over in a hurry.
—So, to get to Wood, you take out your best reliever for the last two months, Pedro Baez, to bring in one of your worst. I am all in favor of matchups, but sometimes you have to pay attention to what is going on around you.
—When the season began, did you ever imagine you’d be saying to yourself “No, leave Baez in!” during the postseason?
—This just in: Joe Buck sends note to Red Sox saying “I really like you. Do you like me? Check yes or no”
—The worst part of the loss was the feeling that the Red Sox were just toying with the Dodgers, that they’d let them tie the score only to say, “OK, time to score more runs now.”
—But, the Dodgers were in it until Wood came into the game. So, let’s not overreact to one loss. It’s not the end of the series.
—Hyun-Jin Ryu goes today. Hopefully the good Ryu will face the bad David Price.
—This just in: Joe Buck seen standing outside Red Sox hotel serenading them. Won’t stop until someone raises window and says they love him too.
—I still say Dodgers in six.
World Series schedule
Game 2: Wednesday, 5 p.m., Dodgers (Hyun-Jin Ryu) at Red Sox (David Price). TV: Fox
Game 3: Friday, 5 p.m., Red Sox (TBA) at Dodgers (Walker Buehler). TV: Fox
Game 4: Saturday, 5 p.m., Red Sox (TBA) at Dodgers (TBA). TV: Fox
Game 5*: Sunday, 5 p.m., Red Sox (TBA) at Dodgers (TBA). TV: Fox
Game 6*: Tuesday, 5 p.m., Dodgers (TBA) at Red Sox (TBA). TV: Fox
Game 7*: Wednesday. 5 p.m., Dodgers (TBA) at Red Sox (TBA). TV: Fox
*-if necessary. All times Pacific.
We have six top reporters covering every Dodgers playoff game for The Times: Andy McCullough, Jorge Castillo, Bill Plaschke, Dylan Hernandez, Bill Shaikin and Maria Torres. If you are not checking out our website and reading their stories, you are missing out on some great stuff. So, what are you waiting for? Click here and start reading.
And if you aren’t near a TV or radio to monitor each game, I’m doing live updates for The Times every game. You can find them here.
The Dodgers win the 1955 World Series. Click here to watch.