Even In the Darkest Days, There’s Always Clayton Kershaw

kershaw_arizona_2013-04-12Somehow, I think, not getting swept in the finale in Baltimore really didn’t help as much as it ought to have. Dodger fans are still panicky, for (mostly) good reasons, and I don’t know that having won or lost that game really would have made things any worse. Injuries are piling up, Matt Kemp is struggling, the left side of the infield is atrocious… there’s a lot not to like.

Yet while all of those concerns are valid, let’s not let the current dark clouds hang over the giant, brightly-lit silver lining that’s starting in New York tonight: Clayton Kershaw.

espn_petriello_kershawIn my latest for ESPN Insider, I make the point that Kershaw isn’t just one of the best pitchers in baseball, his career path rivals that of the greatest to ever play the game:

Yet to merely place him among the ranks one of the greatest pitching talents in the game today is almost an injustice, because the same could be said about David Price, Stephen Strasburg, Justin Verlander or a half-dozen other members of the true pitching elite. With every start, Kershaw is continuing to lay the groundwork for a career that is already on the path to baseball immortality.

It’s not groundbreaking to say that he’s great, but there’s few pitchers in the history of the sport to have accomplished what he has by his still-young age of 25. While it’s not unfair to wring our hands a bit over the real struggles this team faces, let’s not completely take for granted the achievements of one of the true stars in baseball.

You may now return to your regularly-scheduled arguments over whether Scott Van Slyke is awesome. (Spoiler alert: he is not.)

502 comments
I Digesti
I Digesti

Don't look now, but Kemp is hitting .243.

Lily
Lily

The fact that Kershaw is a left-handed pitcher in a pitcher's park in a pitcher's division in a pitcher's league prevents me from anointing him anything.

Bluebloodla92
Bluebloodla92

I always personally thought kershaw > verlander, or any of those aces. Verlander is a tough arguement, but kershaw will have better career numbers when hes done And hes way more left handed than justin lol i remember a couple years ago when people laughed at me sayibg kershaw > weaver, i said consecutive eras under 3 for kersh at such a young age

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

Love when the Dodgers play in NY. I get to avoid Lyons AND be a future person. 

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

I believe that Chad knew this when he was interviewed on the pregame show in Baltimore. But was told not to say anything until the club announced it

Dang88
Dang88

Kershaw needs to strike out 28 tonight......we all know AJ will have a passed ball.

JackedNate
JackedNate

We are involuntarily turning into the Angels, good line up but no pitching, GOD DAMNIIIIIITT!

I Digesti
I Digesti

@Lily Uh - he's a left handed pitcher who throws 93-97 with movement and command, with 2 plus plus breaking balls that he can throw in any count to either side of the plate.  


Oh, and Dodger Stadium is fairly neutral now.  Not nearly as much foul ground as before and above-average for homers.

Lily
Lily

Well, I got told.

Clearly, I'm just talking crazy talk. It's not like his ERA is a full run higher during away games or anything...

Dave! (but probably Justin Turner, maybe)
Dave! (but probably Justin Turner, maybe)

@Lily If only there were some way to account for all of that, statistically! (Seriously... read the linked article before making dumb comments that have already been addressed.)

jml2279
jml2279

@JackedNate I imagine Ned is more likely to after Cliff Lee, which would probably be a huge mistake.

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

@Ely K you say this as if Blue Moon being mediocre wasn't common knowledge. 

Bluebloodla92
Bluebloodla92

@jackednate dont you compare us to the gayngels! >:o

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Advanced statistics account for park effects.

Bluebloodla92
Bluebloodla92

@jml2279 Lee does have incredible k/bb ratio though. Wonder how long hes still gunna be an ace