4. His 2018 NLCS performance
The one negative narrative that has followed Clayton Kershaw around for his entire career is that he cannot come up in the big game. Kershaw has had several postseason meltdowns in his day, and some great starts that get overlooked, and he is the face of the all-time greats that couldn’t get it done and win it all.
Luckily, Kershaw still has time to change that narrative and arguably should have in 2017 after being great in that postseason, but that is neither here nor there.
2018 was the first season in which it was clear that prime Kershaw was no longer present but he still did his part in securing the Dodgers’ second-straight National League Pennant in a year where the team arguably should not have even made the playoffs.
Kershaw was bad in Game 1 and every Dodger fan had a sense of ‘here we go again’. After a masterful eight-inning start in the NLDS, Kershaw allowed five runs in three innings, allowing the perfect metaphorical home run to Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff.
However, he redeemed himself in his other two outings in the NLCS. Kershaw threw another gem at Dodger Stadium, pitching seven innings and only allowing one run with nine strikeouts to lead the Dodgers to the victory.
Austin Barnes had a massive RBI single in that game that allowed Kershaw to hit for himself in the fifth as well, extending his outing.
Kershaw then came into Game 7 with a four-run lead and threw a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to send the Dodgers to the World Series for the second year in a row.