While the eyes of most Dallas-area baseball fans are on the Texas Rangers during this week’s MLB playoff action, the other postseason participants might be worth watching for their local ties.
Three former Highland Park pitchers are in the playoffs this year, more than any other high school in the country. And two of them could play a critical role during this weekend’s Division Series action.
The most recognizable name, of course, is Los Angeles Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner who will start the opening game of the Dodgers’ series against the New York Mets on Friday.
Thus far in his career, Kershaw’s dominance during the regular season hasn’t been replicated in the playoffs. He has a 1-5 record and a 5.12 earned-run average in 11 postseason appearances.
In 33 starts this season, he’s 16-7 with a 2.13 ERA, and he led the National League in shutouts, innings pitched, and strikeouts.
Veteran right-hander Chris Young made the postseason roster for the Kansas City Royals, who will start their series against the Houston Astros tonight.
Young, 36, has been a starting pitcher for most of his 11-year career with five MLB teams (including an All-Star appearance in 2007 for the San Diego Padres), but he likely will pitch out of the bullpen during the postseason. He was 11-6 for the Royals this season with a 3.06 ERA in 34 games.
Meanwhile, relief pitcher Bo Schultz posted a 3.56 ERA in 31 appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays this season, but he was not named to the 25-man playoff roster, which means he won’t pitch in the ALDS against the Rangers, which starts today. But Schultz still has a great story.