Son is a pitcher. This morning, I reminded him that baseball is perhaps the cruelest sport (although golf may have a say).  Failure is built into the DNA of the game.  I often say in no other line of work is a 35% success rate good enough to get you into the Hall of Fame.  But last night...last night was especially cruel.  I turned to my boy this morning and said "You can climb to the greatest highest of this sport, even be the best of your generation.  And still suffer from the most immense and lonely sense of loss and devastation." No, this game isn't for everyone.  I takes a special kind of mental toughness. 

Attachments

Photos (1)
Original Post

We, as a family, have watched, kept up with Kershaw since 2000, when my son played with or against him...travel teammates then opponents. Indeed, it is an extraordinary mentality to turn pro out of HS (2006) & maintain the level of excellence he has for 19 yrs! Add in physical health (until TJ in 2017-8) & pure talent, "Clayton's" are a rare breed! 

So, I know how he feels...and I believe he'll be back on top...This was just a hurdle...He'll overcome it!

The first game yesterday showed how humbling the game can be, and the second showed how cruel it often is.

Unless you're a Nats or Cards fan, in which case the world is all rainbows and unicorns...

... until  next week.

Agree which is why I am often frustrated with how little attention is paid to mental training at lower levels of play. Too many coaches, parents, and players that are laser focused on mechanics with little to no focus on mental game development.

coachld posted:

Agree which is why I am often frustrated with how little attention is paid to mental training at lower levels of play. Too many coaches, parents, and players that are laser focused on mechanics with little to no focus on mental game development.

Yes, mental make-up is as much fundamental as natural (as in DNA). Can't leave home without it!

As the father of a former D1 pitcher, I feel awful for Kershaw.....but it happens at all levels from 10U travel ball up to the MLB  You know what you're getting into when you take the ball and step on the mound.  That being said, I have no idea why the Dodgers felt the need to throw in out there.  They had the lead and plenty of qualified bullpen guys.   If that happens to Kershaw at the start of a game....big deal, you're down 2-0....carry on with the game and he likely still gets the W.  It happens in the 8th, when he is rarely, if ever still in the game and it's a MAJOR story.  Throwing starters in in the playoffs as relievers has backfired so many times I'm shocked that teams keep doing it.    The mentality of a starter is completely different than a reliever....in every aspect from pre game preparation to stepping onto the mound with men on base instead of starting the game with bases empty.   I don't care who you are, that's tough to be able to switch your thinking back and forth

Pro sports plays follow the successful leader. Last year the Red Sox beat the Dodgers using stud starters as relievers between starts. So, hey! Let’s try it with our stud. The difference is the Sox did it out of desperation. By the end of ‘18 they didn’t trust Kimbrel. I’m betting Cubs fans don’t have warm fuzzies for Kimbrel either. 

Sorta agree and disagree. Mentality IS different, but the guy's a freakish competitor.  He want the ball.  Just shouldn't have gotten it in the 8th.  I liked the call the inning before though.  And I thought Maeda shoulda stayed in.  Joe Kelly has ALWAYS scared me.

bballman posted:

Kershaw may be one of the best pitchers of all time.  Until it comes to the post season. For some reason, he's mediocre at best once the regular season ends...

I cant think of a close second in this department, in any sport really.  Possibly James Harden.  Other than that, the disparity between regular season Kershaw and post season Kershaw is the most pronounced I've ever seen in an elite level pro athlete.  

Wechson posted:
bballman posted:

Kershaw may be one of the best pitchers of all time.  Until it comes to the post season. For some reason, he's mediocre at best once the regular season ends...

I cant think of a close second in this department, in any sport really.  Possibly James Harden.  Other than that, the disparity between regular season Kershaw and post season Kershaw is the most pronounced I've ever seen in an elite level pro athlete.  

Kind of goes the other way, doesn't it?

Which lefty would you rather have on your team, Kershaw or Bumgarner?

No contest, right?

Who would you rather have in the post season?

Absolutely no contest.

When I saw the re-play this AM of Rendon's HR in the eighth off Kershaw I thought that was just incredible hitting.  The ball was way out of the zone, and frankly Rendon hit (golfed?) a bad pitch....I think he was initially fooled but was able to get the barrel down.   The Soto HR was a really, really bad pitch that got spanked.  Kershaw had no business going in there on Soto.  

https://www.mlb.com/video/nati...-back-to-back-homers

While the Dodger pitchers will take the brunt of the blame, I think their offense failed them more than anything.  They scored 3 runs in the first two innings then laid an egg for 8 innings. You can't do that in a winner take all situation.   Sorry, their best players did not produce at the plate when needed.   Buehler pitched very well, and frankly the Dodgers had their chances to extend their lead and didn't.   That is the way I see it.  

fenwaysouth posted:

When I saw the re-play this AM of Rendon's HR in the eighth off Kershaw I thought that was just incredible hitting.  The ball was way out of the zone, and frankly Rendon hit (golfed?) a bad pitch....I think he was initially fooled but was able to get the barrel down.   The Soto HR was a really, really bad pitch that got spanked.  Kershaw had no business going in there on Soto.  

https://www.mlb.com/video/nati...-back-to-back-homers

While the Dodger pitchers will take the brunt of the blame, I think their offense failed them more than anything.  They scored 3 runs in the first two innings then laid an egg for 8 innings. You can't do that in a winner take all situation.   Sorry, their best players did not produce at the plate when needed.   Buehler pitched very well, and frankly the Dodgers had their chances to extend their lead and didn't.   That is the way I see it.  

I tell my boys this everytime they blow a save or strike out to make the last out.  Its never all on them. Baseball is a game of many moments of "what ifs" before they got to their particular situation.  Lol it never helps in the moment of their despair but hopefully it helps them going forward. 

fenwaysouth posted:

When I saw the re-play this AM of Rendon's HR in the eighth off Kershaw I thought that was just incredible hitting.  The ball was way out of the zone, and frankly Rendon hit (golfed?) a bad pitch....I think he was initially fooled but was able to get the barrel down.   The Soto HR was a really, really bad pitch that got spanked.  Kershaw had no business going in there on Soto.  

https://www.mlb.com/video/nati...-back-to-back-homers

While the Dodger pitchers will take the brunt of the blame, I think their offense failed them more than anything.  They scored 3 runs in the first two innings then laid an egg for 8 innings. You can't do that in a winner take all situation.   Sorry, their best players did not produce at the plate when needed.   Buehler pitched very well, and frankly the Dodgers had their chances to extend their lead and didn't.   That is the way I see it.  

Nats fan here.  I truly thought the Nats were done when Kershaw got the last out in the 7th.  I was sort of surprised he was left in there after the Rendon HR in the 8th.  With the bullpen the Dodger's had I couldn't fathom why Roberts went with Kershaw and let him go back out in the 8th.  Made Buehler's performance all for naught.  He did pitch a gem.

Good point about the Dodger offense.  They rattled Strasburg in the first two innings, but then he settled down while the National's offense woke up in the later innings.

Side note - I find it interesting the Nationals ended the regular season with a better record without Harper than they had last year with him.   Never saw that coming.

Side note - I find it interesting the Nationals ended the regular season with a better record without Harper than they had last year with him.   Never saw that coming.

Me, either.  I wondered  how both phillies and nats fans would feel about Harper given the season's results.

Also, anyone who's ever pitched enough to remember giving up a jack that cost his team the game gets at least a little bit anyway, of what Kershaw and Kelly went through yesterday.  I wonder how much worse that sickening feeling in the deep pit of your stomach is for these guys.  Had to admire Kershaw's post game interview.

 

Who are these two pitchers?

GS 25 W 9 L 11 IP 158.1 ERA 4.43 

GS 35 W11 L 14 IP 198.0 ERA 3.27

The first is Kershaw and the 2nd is Greg Maddox.  What to make of it?  IMO in the playoffs you get no soft games.  The 95 loss Mets and Padres are nowhere to be found.  I think it knocks both pitchers down a rung when you start talking about all timers.  Neither is near the top 10 and I am unconvinced either is among the top 20 all time.  In fact I think Maddox was the 3rd best pitcher on his own team.  I would take Smoltz then Glavine over him.

One guy I would take over them is Bob Gibson who in 3 World Series was

GS 9 W 7 L 2 IP 81ERA 1.89 

You are reading correctly that is 9 innings per start.  He only got to 3 post seasons which consisted only of WS.  Had he played today and gone to the playoffs 10 more times with the multiple rounds and started another 25 post season games his numbers would have been incredible.

Also try this on if you have any doubts about Ruth being the greatest player and yes he was a top 20 pitcher and probably top 10.  He might be the greatest left handed pitcher to ever play.  He won 90 at age 24 and was a full time starter for only 3 seasons.  His post season numbers:

GS 3 W 3 L 0 IP 31 ERA 0.87  For the math impaired that is 10.1 innings per outing.  

 

luv baseball posted:

Who are these two pitchers?

GS 25 W 9 L 11 IP 158.1 ERA 4.43 

GS 35 W11 L 14 IP 198.0 ERA 3.27

The first is Kershaw and the 2nd is Greg Maddox.  What to make of it?  IMO in the playoffs you get no soft games.  The 95 loss Mets and Padres are nowhere to be found.  I think it knocks both pitchers down a rung when you start talking about all timers.  Neither is near the top 10 and I am unconvinced either is among the top 20 all time.  In fact I think Maddox was the 3rd best pitcher on his own team.  I would take Smoltz then Glavine over him.

One guy I would take over them is Bob Gibson who in 3 World Series was

GS 9 W 7 L 2 IP 81ERA 1.89 

You are reading correctly that is 9 innings per start.  He only got to 3 post seasons which consisted only of WS.  Had he played today and gone to the playoffs 10 more times with the multiple rounds and started another 25 post season games his numbers would have been incredible.

Also try this on if you have any doubts about Ruth being the greatest player and yes he was a top 20 pitcher and probably top 10.  He might be the greatest left handed pitcher to ever play.  He won 90 at age 24 and was a full time starter for only 3 seasons.  His post season numbers:

GS 3 W 3 L 0 IP 31 ERA 0.87  For the math impaired that is 10.1 innings per outing.  

 

Don't disagree but a 3.27 ERA is not bad at all. He had a career regular season ERA of 3.16. And that is still in a completely different realm than Kershaw's 4.43 (which is a full 2.00 higher than his regular season ERA). I love that Kershaw wants the ball but that is where the manager has to step in and say thanks but we're going to go with _____. 

Wechson posted:
bballman posted:

Kershaw may be one of the best pitchers of all time.  Until it comes to the post season. For some reason, he's mediocre at best once the regular season ends...

I cant think of a close second in this department, in any sport really.  Possibly James Harden.  Other than that, the disparity between regular season Kershaw and post season Kershaw is the most pronounced I've ever seen in an elite level pro athlete.  

Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, John Elway, and Lebron James were all failures in the post season until they won multiple times.  Kershaw will probably throw a few 1-2 hitters on his way to a WS ring when he's in his late 30s.  

I was at the game last Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. On the way out, saw two different guys take off their Kershaw jerseys, throw them on the ground, walk away, and other fans walked all over them on the ground. Glad my boys weren’t with me to see that. Kershaw is a great pitcher and really good guy. But as a starter he has a very long routine he goes through before each start, including a lot of long tosses which cannot be duplicated when he is a reliever. Most Dodger fans blame Roberts and management, but the whole team chokes in the playoffs. Given the ticket prices, wouldn’t be surprised to see a drop in attendance next year.

hsbaseball101 posted:
Wechson posted:
bballman posted:

Kershaw may be one of the best pitchers of all time.  Until it comes to the post season. For some reason, he's mediocre at best once the regular season ends...

I cant think of a close second in this department, in any sport really.  Possibly James Harden.  Other than that, the disparity between regular season Kershaw and post season Kershaw is the most pronounced I've ever seen in an elite level pro athlete.  

Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, John Elway, and Lebron James were all failures in the post season until they won multiple times.  Kershaw will probably throw a few 1-2 hitters on his way to a WS ring when he's in his late 30s.  

If Elway hadn't won in his late career attempt, he would have been the closest example. Jordan and Lebron hugely successful in the post season after a few failures earlier in their career, not a viable comp to me.  Payton Manning won half of the Super Bowls he played in. 

 

Manning May have won half his Super Bowl appearances. But he also has the most post season losses in NFL history. Manning is probably the greatest QB ever on a mechanical level. But he has a lot of history of things going wrong from the neck up in the post season. 

Manning's problem was his team was not as good as the Patriots and Brady offset the advantage he gave the Colts compared to everyone else.  If there is no Brady/Pats he wins 4 or 5 and he might be the hands down goat.  

Same for Montana - no Simms and Giants and he wins 6 or 7 as he probably never is displaced by Young.  Most people do not know Simms was 2-1 vs. Montana in playoffs.  Those Giants teams were the best match for the 49er dynasty going 3-2 in playoffs between 81-90  against them.  

Point is - ever great player/team has a rival that is a real test of what they are.  For Manning and the Colts the Patriots were just better.

Add Reply

×
×
×
×