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.
As you no doubt saw already, Mets manager Mickey Callaway had a bad day yesterday. After some testy exchanges with the media over his bullpen use, he blew up at Newsday reporter Tim Healey after Healey told Callaway that he’d see him tomorrow, which Callaway took as sarcastic. Then Jason Vargas unhelpfully piled on, walking toward Healey and threatening him with violence. Healy spoke to his Newsday colleague David Lennon and explained the whole thing here. He’s pretty even-handed about it.
Callaway was already thought to be on at least moderately thin ice as Mets manager given his team’s underachievement this year. Thin ice or not, it’s not unreasonable to say that his behavior yesterday is something that a lot of teams would think of as a fireable offense. At the very least leaders in other businesses would think that way if one of their public-facing employees treated a reporter who covered him in that manner. In addition to it simply being bad form, it raises questions about Callaway’s temperament and his ability to handle pressure and adversity.
The Mets, however, do not seem to consider the matter to raise to that level. While they offered apologies to Healey and vowed that that he will be welcome in the clubhouse — for which Healey was appreciative — Callaway will be back to work as usual today, with the Mets announcing this morning that he will hold his usual pre-game press conference at 4PM in advance of tonight’s game against the Phillies.
Tell me: if you’re the GM or owner of a team and your manager does that, do you keep him? What do you do?