How many times in his career has Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw lost the deciding game of a playoff series?

You can get the answer to your question with two links at the irreplaceable website baseball-reference.com:

First, here’s Kershaw’s career post-season game log so you can see his performance over the years:

Postseason Pitching Gamelog

Second, here’s a quick link to get to any and all post-season series, where you can cross reference the Dodger’s series with the appearances that Kershaw had.

World Series Winners, Stats, and Results and Postseason Series.

Year by Year:

  • 2016: he pitched (but did not get the W) in the NLCS elimination game 4 and then saved the deciding NLDS game on 1 day rest. Then he took the loss in deciding NLCS game.
  • 2015: he won an elimination game in NLDS game 4 but did not pitch in the decider.
  • 2014 he lost the NLDS decider, pitching on 3 days rest
  • 2013 he pitched in (but did not get the W) in the NLDS winning game (again on 3 days rest), then took the loss in the NLCS decider.
  • In 2009 he pitched a couple of relief innings in the game 5 NLCS loss
  • In 2008 he did not pitch in either deciding game that LA participated in.

So to summarize, in “deciders” he has taken 3 losses, gotten a save, pitched in a decider win but didn’t get the win stat, and had some relief appearances.

Kershaw’s post-season ERA is (as others have noted) an ugly 4.55. What’s missing in that stat is the number of times he’s taken the ball on 3 days rest (or fewer), and the number of times he’s pitched well past 100 pitches/deep into games/facing the lineup a 4th time thanks to crummy past Dodger bullpens. There’s context to his numbers and one of the reasons we always warn about passing judgements on “short sample sizes.”

That’s an inaccurate characterization, he does not always fail under pressure. Tonight is his third deciding game loss but it was not his failure. Games are won and lost by the team, not the pitcher by himself.

Had the left fielder – Toles – caught that fly ball in the first inning he would have allowed fewer runs but he could have thrown a perfect game and still not won; you can’t win if you don’t score.

In 2013 the lineup scored no runs

In 2014 the lineup scored 2 runs

Tonight the lineup didn’t score.

Kershaw is still the best pitcher in the game. 29 other teams would jump out of their suits to have him.

I like Fred Owens’ answer. Clayton Kershaw is an an amazing talent wo just didn’t have his “A” stuff tonight. His devastating curveball was nowhere to be found tonight. It is an incredibly difficult task to throw 2 games in a single series and have the same level of success in both. Great hitters will make adjustments no matter how good you are.

The Cubs are my team and I am happy. But Kershaw is a great competitor who did NOT fail tonight.