Dodgers 6, Marlins 0: Clayton Kershaw Is Better Than Everyone

kershaw_arizona_2013-04-12

When I said earlier today that Clayton Kershaw was going to do something worth watching simply because no one would be watching, I think I was right, just not in the way we expected. For the the first few innings, Kershaw didn’t look much like the elite ace we’ve come to know and love, and it’s almost like he chose this hidden game to get those struggles out of the way where few would notice.

Kershaw walked the leadoff hitter, Christian Yelich, then got into trouble in the second thanks to a single, wild pitch, and walk. In the third, he gave up a long double to Giancarlo Stanton; in the fourth, he let another leadoff man, Ed Lucas, get on base with a single. The leadoff Miami hitters in the sixth and seventh made it on, too, though he really seemed to be back to his old self after the first three innings.

But while it may not have been a classic Kershaw outing, it says a lot about him that on a day where he was probably not quite at his best, the Marlins still scored precisely zero runs. Two of those leadoff men were immediately erased on double plays, and Miami was unable to string any of those hits together enough to actually get on the board. Say what you will about the strength of the Marlins lineup, but the fact that Kershaw can spend several innings fighting himself and still throw eight shutout innings… well, it’s why he’s the best pitcher in baseball. It’s why he just might be the NL Most Valuable Player.

Meanwhile, we saw the inverse from Miami starter Henderson Alvarez. He didn’t allow his first hit until the fourth inning, but when he did, it all fell apart. Yasiel Puig led off the fourth with a double to the deepest part of the park, then (after Andre Ethier struck out) advanced to third on an A.J. Ellis groundout. Puig then looked to have scored the first run on a wild pitch, but was returned to third when it was ruled that the pitch had actually hit Skip Schumaker; it ended up not making a difference when Kershaw followed a Juan Uribe walk with a run-scoring single to bring in Uribe. Carl Crawford then doubled home two, and Alvarez was never the same.

Kershaw didn’t get the shutout, since he was lifted after eight innings and 103 pitches. (Some will complain about that, but with a six-run lead and hopefully a long postseason ahead, I have no problem about letting the bullpen eat that last inning.) Today’s performance kicks that ERA down to 1.72, and it can’t be overstated how impressive that is — since Jackie Robinson integrated the game in 1947, only seven pitcher seasons have had lower marks than that, and two of those (Bob Gibson & Luis Tiant) came in 1968, when pitching was so dominant that the mound was then lowered.

Brian Wilson made his Dodger debut in the ninth inning, touching 94 miles per hour in his first game action since April 2012. He struck out Stanton on a called slider, induced a ground out from Logan Morrison, allowed a double to Greg Dobbs, and struck out Justin Ruggiano swinging. It’s just one game in a low leverage situation against a downtrodden team, but he can take some good out of this.

Arizona lost to the Reds today, so the Dodgers take a 9.5 game lead back home to face off against Boston tomorrow. Should be fun.

953 comments
Vin_Skully
Vin_Skully

Jesus, Greg Maddux had a 1.53 and 1.63 era in '94 and '95 with a whip under .9 both years as well.

Sorry, just going through some numbers of Kershaw's and say this. I think Clayton will be better than Maddux, but those are silly numbers.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Well, I'm happy now.

Chavez Ravine Fiend
Chavez Ravine Fiend

Excited to have Vin back, read everyone's comments from earlier.... you guys are too funny

Bull Doggy Dogg
Bull Doggy Dogg

Puig may be my favorite person ever.

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/71962/about-last-night-fernandez-mania-in-miami

  • "Miami, so close to home yet a million miles away," Puig said to himself after the game, as he took a limousine down the streets of South Beach. "Everybody here is dressed like they have something to prove. I guess I still have something to prove. I guess we all always have something to prove." Puig looked down at himself and muttered, "How am I both underdressed and overdressed? It's like I'm not at home anywhere," before he yelled up to his driver, "Hey, does good pitching always beat good hitting?" When the driver shook his head and said, "Not you big Yas. You the man!" Puig had him stop the car. The Dodgers slugger then paid the driver and said, "It's not kind to lie to a man's face," before disappearing into the Miami night.

Lobo
Lobo

Guys, The World's End is everything you hoped it would be and more.  It just might be the best of the three.  See.  It.

Carver
Carver

Haha Duane Kuiper basically just said that Giants fans look forward to being down in the bottom of the ninth so they can wear rally caps.

DavidGriffBecerra
DavidGriffBecerra

A little while ago I said today was a good day in terms of baseball...well now it's a great day

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

Mike is sleeping through the best news of the year.

DodgersFan
DodgersFan

WHERE'S THE FUCKING NEW POST, MICHAEL 

slamjoe
slamjoe

"Not many South Floridians were able to make the matinee. Tickets were selling for $5, a fraction of what it costs to park in the stadium or buy a Cuban sandwich at one of the concessions kiosks. "

Please tell me why Florida has 2 baseball teams?

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Dogerscribe (VND) So... this would probably be the perfect time for me to plan a trip up there to see the Dodgers in that ballpark.

*VND*
*VND*

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

The Nats are running $2 tuesdays right now.  Its pathetic.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

Not in the press box, he does not have credentials