First of all, let me make it clear: Clayton Kershaw is a hell of a pitcher.  He is one of the best pitchers out there today, and has a damn good argument for being the best.  He is also by all accounts a good guy and a good ballplayer in general.  I have no irrational dislike of him, other than that he is a Dodger, and I would easily cheer for him more if he were wearing any other uniform.  Except maybe the Cardinals.  Or the Yankees, or Red Sox.  Or…maybe I’d just cheer for him more if he became a Giant.

But that said, it was pretty interesting how the various MVP voting and Manager of the Year voting came down, in light of the postseason.  One has to genuinely wonder if Matt Williams (Another great guy who did a hell of a job this year) would have won if votes were done after the playoffs.  Would playoffs become irrationally considered, being the freshest in memory?  Perhaps, but is it any more rational that they aren’t considered at all?

And that brings us to Kershaw.  Kershaw’s regular season made him a deserving Cy Young.  Even if I had to vote with the postseason in consideration, and all that Bumgarner did, I’d vote Kershaw on top.

The MVP thing… well…

Look at how MVP trophies are handed out right now in the playoffs.  They are often handed to players who came up the biggest, in the biggest moments.  Does Edgar Renteria win the 2010 World Series MVP without his Game 5, game-winning home run?  Probably not.  What about Cody Ross in the NLCS that year?  His two home runs in Game 1 shocked the world, and while he hit one more, those two home runs were the calling card.  Pablo had a great series all-around in 2012, but it was clearly the three-home run game against Verlander in Game 1 that won him that trophy.  And I won’t even mention Madison Bumgarner, because that one is very obvious.

But Kershaw?  This year, Kershaw was involved in the Dodgers’ first playoff loss, and their last.  Kershaw got blasted late in Game 1, in such a crushing way it’s hard not to expect that it set the tone for the Dodgers the rest of the series.  He gave up a 4 run lead!  Part of that might be on a manager for not hooking him fast enough, but wow.  In Game 4, he was brought back early specifically to face elimination…and he was overwhelmed late.  Sure, maybe he was tired, but still.

Without Kershaw, the Dodgers probably don’t win the division or make the playoffs.  But in the playoffs, he simply put his team in a position to lose.

I think that should be under consideration.

But in the meantime, I’m sure Giants fans won’t let the Dodgers forget about that little footnote in Kershaw’s history.

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