It’s all been said. Here, here, here, and here. Yet somehow, it’s worth saying just once more, after what HAS to be Kershaw’s magnum opus of choking, as well as his apologists’ (decreasing but still strong) defense of him, at the expense of others…
Circumstances for failure are always given AFTER the fact with Kershaw. In the eyes of many, the blame will always fall primarily on someone or something else. Always. Last night was more of the same.
Kershaw is the same age as Strasburg, pitched on the same amount of rest as Strasburg, and (for now) makes more money than Strasburg. Yet many have convinced themselves that having him pitch to more than one batter was inexcusable for Dave Roberts.
Dave Roberts, similar to Don Mattingly before him, was a baseball legend and a classy guy. Now, he’s an ostracized pariah. Sure, he had his flaws as a manager, as did Mattingly. (MAN, did Mattingly have flaws!) But neither of them deserved the amount of criticism, nor degree of rage, thrown in their direction, by the fans, by the media, and especially diehard Kershaw apologists disguised as journalists. (Those on Twitter know who that third category is in reference to.) But now, Dave Roberts will likely suffer the same fate as Mattingly. Such is life for those who are Clayton Kershaw’s manager- Kershaw gets all the credit when succeeding, the manager gets most of the blame for “setting Kershaw up to fail” in October. At this point, it basically comes with the job description of Dodger manager, and will come with the next one- if Kershaw is still even pitching for the Dodgers next year.
For the Dodgers sake, they’d better hope that the money they spent on re-signing Clayton Kershaw doesn’t take them out of the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes. Until then, the Dodgers will get to watch the playoffs on TV like the rest of us, and wonder what might have been. Again.