There is no god. Because even the most psychotically perverse deity would not have allowed what befell Clayton Kershaw in the seventh inning in Game 4. Stoked by a lead again (2-0), and cruising to a one-hitter over the Cardinals, Kershaw inexplicably gave up a three-run HR to unlikely rotund hero Matt Adams. This time, unlike in Game 1, Kershaw wasn't just trying to overpower the Cardinals with fastballs. But this time, it was a hanging curveball which unraveled the Dodgers, and ultimately eliminated us from the 2014 postseason.
How inexplicable was this? So crazy, that ESPN's statistics department couldn't even add correctly:
Kershaw, obviously crestfallen and befuddled, admirably faced stupid questions from an insipid St. Louis press corps, and soldiered through post-game interviews with class and dignity that I suppose could only be expected from The Best Pitcher In Baseball:
"The season ended and I'm a big part of the reason why," Kershaw said. "It doesn't matter how I pitched. It's bad deja vu all over again. I felt we had a really good chance to win. I'm thankful we got here and hope to be back."
Looking at the photos of Kershaw walking off the mound in the seventh inning, my heart aches. He doesn't deserve this. And we Dodger fans don't deserve this either, what with the NL West-winning Dodgers going home, while the second-place retread Giants advancing to the NLCS, in a series where I don't want either team to win (in fact, I hope it goes seven games of 99 innings each, all of which with microscopic television ratings).
Manager Don Mattingly? Yeah, he deserves the vitriol, again doing a fine job managing the team through six innings, but finding himself at a loss beyond that. Mattingly also spent the morning getting crucified on Twitter for benching Yasiel Puig in favor of Andre Ethier (who went 0-for-2 with two walks, but was picked off third base to end the sixth inning in Puigian fashion, failing to dive back to the bag after considering coming home on a shallow passed ball). Ethier's performance was not worth the substitution. And Mattingly did end up putting Puig in later in Game 4, as a pinch runner of all things, which also makes no sense.
Dan Haren never entered the NLDS, even in relief. Not sure why we were saving him.
Ned Colletti sure as heck should be under consideration for blame, being allowed to play with the highest payroll in baseball, but neglecting to fortify a bullpen beyond a closer.
And there are fingers to be pointed at some of the members of the team. Hanley Ramirez, if he had any defensive skills, could have leapt for that second single that preceded the Adams HR. It would have been a double play had he caught it. Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe, both of whom were impressive this regular season, neglected to show up at the plate for most of this series.
But Kershaw, at the center of the storm? I've lost faith in everything at this point. But not him.
We'll get 'em next year, Clayton. We just have to clean some house around you first.
Now please excuse me, as I go get my Orioles and Royals gear on.