Clayton Kershaw's Game 2 Gem Continued His Dominant 2016 Postseason

The best pitcher in baseball is pitching like it in the 2016 postseason. What does it mean for the Dodgers?

I think we can officially put to rest the "Clayton Kershaw can't pitch in the playoffs" narrative now, don't you?

Pitching on just three days' rest, after hurling the final inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' clinching victory in Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals on one day of rest, Kershaw dug down deep and held the best lineup in baseball scoreless in the Dodgers' 1-0 victory in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series in Chicago.

Kershaw was masterful in his seven innings, giving up just those two hits, with one walk and six strikeouts.

He lasted seven innings before turning the game over to L.A.'s outstanding closer, Kenley Jansen, who kept the Chicago Cubs off the board over the final two frames. And with the victory, the best-of-seven series is now knotted at 1-1, with the series shifting to Los Angeles for Games 3, 4, and 5.

Last night was Kershaw's 13th career postseason start, but this was the first in which he'd allowed no runs. Coming into this season, just based on the traditional numbers, it was easy to see why some people felt the "Kershaw Narrative" was a real thing.

In 13 games (10 starts), Kershaw had posted a postseason ERA of 4.59. In 64 2/3 innings, he had given up 8 home runs. In Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, Kershaw gave up 7 runs on 10 hits in just 4 innings of work.

His next postseason game was in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS against those same Cardinals, in which he gave up 8 runs on 8 hits in 6 2/3 innings.

But in his last seven playoff games (six starts) he has been much better, with a 3.46 ERA, piling up 53 strikeouts and 11 walks over 39 innings.

The advanced metrics flat out disprove the narrative that Kershaw has struggled in the postseason, and he's getting even better.

Kershaw's 2016 Playoffs

What he's done over the last week has been incredible -- by any measure.

Kershaw pitched in all three games the Dodgers won in the NLDS against Washington. He started Game 1 and gutted out five innings, giving up three runs in their 4-3 win.

He then started Game 4 on three days' rest and held Washington to 2 runs in 6 2/3 innings before the bullpen allowed 3 inherited runners to score. Still, the Dodgers found a way to win 6-5.

Then two days later, Kershaw miraculously came back and threw the final inning of the Dodgers' clinching Game 5 victory.

And last night, once again on three days' rest, staring down the barrel of a 0-2 series hole, Kershaw was masterful against the Cubs.

He's doing things that almost no other human has ever done in postseason baseball.

And let's not forget about the contribution of Jansen, who has come into ballgames as early as the seventh inning for save situations this postseason and locked them down each and every time.

The big key for Kershaw in Game 2 was getting through the seventh inning, something that has proven to be a major bugaboo for him during his playoff career.

He couldn't make it through the seventh inning in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Nationals, and the result was the Nats' rallying for three runs to tie the game. But the most glaring example was in the 2014 NLDS against St. Louis.

In Game 1, Kershaw had a 6-2 lead going into the seventh before the Cardinals scored 8 runs in the inning, 6 of which were charged to Kershaw, in the Cardinals' 10-9 victory.

And then, in Game 4, Kershaw entered the seventh with a 2-0 lead before Matt Adams hit a shocking and dramatic three-run blast off Kershaw in St. Louis' 3-2 win.

But in 2016, Kershaw is having a signature postseason, much in the same way great pitchers like Madison Bumgarner, Curt Schilling, and fellow Dodger Orel Hershiser had before him.

The Kershaw Narrative was dumb even before this year's playoffs began. Now, it's officially been put to rest and buried in the backyard.

Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher of his generation. And now, he's getting the results in the postseason to prove it.

The Dodgers have a 37.25% chance to beat the Cubs and advance to the World Series.