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Monday, October 06, 2014

Fangraphs (Sullivan): What Happened to Clayton Kershaw?

Another great Jeff Sullivan article breaking down, visually, how Clayton Kershaw suffered his historic meltdown versus the Cardinals:

In Game 1 of the NLDS between the Dodgers and the Cardinals, Kershaw was provided with a 6-1 lead. He left a 7-6 deficit, and shortly thereafter he was charged with run number eight. You already understand that the game was insane…ut Clayton Kershaw allowed eight runs. I don’t think there’s ever a bad time to try to figure out how something like that can happen. [...]

A popular theory caught immediate fire: the Cardinals had something on Kershaw, and his signs. Basically, there’s a thought that Kershaw was tipping his pitches, giving the Cardinals the advantage of knowing what would be on the way. It’s a common explanation whenever a good pitcher gets bad results, or at least, it’s a common proposed explanation, but seldom is it supported. In this case, some players and former players believe it, and others do not. I don’t know. I’m always skeptical, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t know what the Cardinals were seeing and relaying to one another, if anything. I think, though, there’s a simpler explanation. I think Kershaw didn’t execute, and I think the Cardinals did. It’s boring, but it’s usually what works, and it’s what my eyes are telling me. Let’s go through that seventh inning at-bat by at-bat, so I can try to explain where I’m coming from.


 

 

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