Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has pitched well this postseason, which seemed to put the nail in the coffin of his perceived playoff struggles. From 2008-16, Kershaw had a 4.55 postseason ERA. This postseason, entering Sunday’s action, he had a 2.96 ERA across four starts.
That narrative is about to reanimate. With a fourth-inning, game-tying three-run home run allowed to disgraced Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, Kershaw set a new postseason record for home runs allowed, according to Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues. Gurriel’s blast was number eight for Kershaw in the playoffs this year.
Half of those homers came in Kershaw’s Game 1 start against the Diamondbacks in the NLDS. A.J. Pollock, J.D. Martinez, Ketel Marte, and Jeff Mathis all hit solo homers against him. Albert Almora, Jr. hit a two-run shot off Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLCS. Kris Bryant got him with the bags empty in Game 5. And, in Game 1 of the World Series, Alex Bregman took Kershaw yard for a solo shot.
Kershaw set a career-high during the regular season, yielding 23 round-trippers. Considering that the 2017 season set an all-time record for home runs, that’s not so bad. Perhaps Kershaw’s record also has something to do with the allegedly slicker baseballs used in the World Series.