Kershaw must have boarded the plane back to L.A. wondering how in the heck he was the losing pitcher in a game in which he only gave up two hits and one unearned run. He just happened to be in an unlucky matchup, perhaps.
The opposing pitcher, Michael Wacha, is on a roll like only one other in Cardinals’ postseason history. Bob Gibson in the 1968 World Series had two consecutive starts with at least eight strikeouts and no more than one earned run. Wacha has done that in his two postseason starts, the 10th and 11th major league starts of his young career.
So Kershaw had the misfortune of going up against that.
In two regular season games this year against the Cardinals, Kershaw also lost. In May at home, he was spotted a two-run lead after the first inning, but couldn’t hold onto it. The winning pitcher in that game was Seth Maness (Shelby Miller started).
At Busch Stadium in August, he allowed only two earned runs, but the Dodgers could only muster up one against Joe Kelly. He can’t really blame those on the opposing pitcher being too tough for his team to beat.
The Cardinals’ offense is notoriously bad against left-handed pitchers. They were lucky that the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ Francisco Liriano could only start one game in the NLDS because they never beat him all year. Yet Kershaw has a losing record against them, going 4-5 in 12 regular season starts with three no-decisions. He must wonder at his lack of success when he should dominate against them.
Before Kershaw’s next start in this series, he might want to get in touch with Liriano to get some tips on beating the Cardinals and lifting the curse he seems to be under.
Sara Lefebvre is a St Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Connect with her on Google.