Stay Healthy, Please: The Clayton Kershaw Thread

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Time to start one. He's in the running for greatest young pitcher since WWII.

I found eight guys who’d accumulated 30+ WAR by the end of their age-26 season. (Am I missing anyone obvious?) Ordered by WAR:

                         IP         W        L        H         BB        K        K/BB    ERA     ERA+   WAR

Blyleven 2144 122 113 1880 553 1728 3.12 2.79 134 49.7
Feller 1520 112 57 1199 850 1292 1.52 3.15 136 39.3
Gooden 1714 132 53 1467 505 1541 3.05 2.91 122 36.5
Seaver 1379 95 54 1090 352 1155 3.28 2.34 149 35.9
Clemens 1285 95 45 1088 371 1215 3.27 3.06 139 35.7
Kershaw 1259 86 48 958 404 1313 3.25 2.57 148 35.2
Felix 1620 98 76 1484 480 1487 3.10 3.22 128 33.4
Pedro 1146 84 46 890 373 1221 3.27 2.98 145 30.6

Kershaw still has half-a-season left--he should easily move to third on this list. A few notes.

1) They’re all at different points of their careers. Gooden, at the end of 1991, is clearly not the pitcher he was when he broke in. (Morbius can check me on this, but my recollection is that this was evident at the time—i.e., that no one expected him to return to anything close to where he was in ’84 and ’85. Can’t remember if his off-field problems were already an issue at 26.) Pedro, by contrast, is about to have two of the greatest seasons ever.

2) Almost all of Feller’s numbers are accumulated by age 22, when his military service begins (coming off seasonal WARS of 9.3/9.9/8.1). Give him back the three seasons he missed, and he undoubtedly sits at the top.

3) That aside, Blyleven’s huge WAR lead is pretty amazing.

4) Excepting Feller (product of the era), the K/BB ratios are extremely similar across the board.

5) Kershaw matches up very evenly with Clemens and Seaver.

I do hope that chart doesn't end up all over the place.

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 12:56 (five years ago) link

Yikes.

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 12:57 (five years ago) link

This should be better:

http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t427/sayhey1/kershaw_zps76a7a9e6.jpg

clemenza, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 13:33 (five years ago) link

There were a lot of 300 IP pitchers in Blyleven's era. His lead in WAR is partly because he threw a lot more innings than anyone else on the list. On a WAR/200 IP basis, Clemens and Kershaw are in a separate category from the rest.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 14:17 (five years ago) link

Johan Santana misses your cut (~22 WAR through age-26) because he wasn't a full time starter until age-25. The idea was to keep his IP count down when he was in his early 20's so that he wouldn't burn out by age 30, but shit happens.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 14:22 (five years ago) link

because i apparently know everything dave cameron has ever said, he's actually come out and said that fWAR underrates kersh -- i know you're using bWAR here but i don't think he was talking about any factor that didn't affect both. i assumed it had something to do with the extreme park factor or maybe league factor. maybe i'll ask him next chat if i remember when it happens.

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 00:01 (five years ago) link

he threw a lot more innings than anyone else

so . . . he was more valuable

mookieproof, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 00:47 (five years ago) link

Even when the numbers clearly show how Burt Blyleven's value, he doesn't get a shake. If he pitched for the A's, Reds, Dodgers or Yanks in the 70s he would have probably won 325+ games. Those numbers in his early 20s are pretty mind boggling.

Yada yada...I know wins don't matter.

I'd kind of figure with the mastery of multiple pitches and being a lefty, that Clayton Kershaw would be somewhat comparable to Steve Carlton. It would be good to read an article or see an interview with a scout that saw them both in their prime to compare.

earlnash, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 01:04 (five years ago) link

almost 40 years of human evolution on Kershaw's side.

(sorry, I am in the camp that maybe, just maybe, Ruth and Gehrig might be bench players on a current MLB team)

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 01:31 (five years ago) link

I don't doubt that, but Steve Carlton was pretty ahead of the curve on training for his day, so was Nolan Ryan for that matter.

earlnash, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 01:53 (five years ago) link

On a related note, Jeter tied Gehrig on the career doubles list today. Evolution marches on.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 02:12 (five years ago) link

let's see him do it with lou gehrig's disease

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 02:14 (five years ago) link

Zach: yes, I use Baseball Reference's numbers, mostly out of convenience. I like Jay Jaffe's method of splitting the difference--Posnanski explained the rationale for doing so in terms of Pedro's '99 and '00 seasons, and it made sense to me.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 02:29 (five years ago) link

Another gem and now it's 36 scoreless innings.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 5 July 2014 04:57 (five years ago) link

8 scoreless in coors counts double i think

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Saturday, 5 July 2014 05:00 (five years ago) link

I'm goin his next start Thursday vs SD at home

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 5 July 2014 14:24 (five years ago) link

High Heat Stats had a little chart the other day showing how close Kershaw and Sale were in most basic categories. Sale had last night's start since then, so I'll update.

IP: Kershaw (87.1), Sale (95.0)
W-L: Kershaw (10-2), Sale (8-1)
H/9: Kershaw (6.6), Sale (6.1)
K/BB: Kershaw (9.58), Sale (6.38)
WHIP: Kershaw (1.077), Sale (1.061)
ERA: Kershaw (1.85), Sale (2.08)
ERA+: Kershaw (190), Sale (193)

K/BB is the only sizable gap, where Sale's struggling along at a 6-1 ratio.

clemenza, Thursday, 10 July 2014 14:11 (five years ago) link

Also, I feel compelled to mention that Kershaw + Sale =

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/backissues/pauline-kael.jpg

clemenza, Thursday, 10 July 2014 14:13 (five years ago) link

welp, 41 innings and "phffft"

LA crowd most upset that they ran out of Hello Kitty travel mugs

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 July 2014 09:04 (five years ago) link

I was looking at the game logs for Kershaw and Wainwright. They've each had three problem starts.

Kershaw:

One bad start: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 7 R, lost.
Two okay starts: 14 IP, 14 H, 1 BB, 18 K, 6 R, lost both. ("Okay" for Kershaw--both were quality.)

Wainwright:

Two bad starts: 9.1 IP, 18 H, 3 BB, 8 K, 13 R, lost both.
One mediocre start: 7 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 8 K, 4 R, won.

Together, here's what they've done in their other 27 starts:

202.1 IP, 121 H (5.37/9), 34 BB, 194 K (5.71 K/BB), 17 R (0.76 ERA), 22-1.

clemenza, Sunday, 20 July 2014 23:53 (five years ago) link

fuck ESPN, i thought they might improve but all they care about is big market teams but tonight St. Louis gets the treatment.

Bee OK, Monday, 21 July 2014 01:09 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

if not for that DL stint, he's prob be heavy fave for MVP; as of now, should still win it

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 15 August 2014 15:21 (five years ago) link

yeah who else is there really? lucroy and mccutcheon i guess? they're having really excellent seasons but nothing close to kersh.

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Friday, 15 August 2014 15:23 (five years ago) link

i would be shocked if anyone other than kersh or puig won

k3vin k., Friday, 15 August 2014 15:32 (five years ago) link

I was going to mention Puig, but didn't want everyone yelling WAR at me (a modest 3.8 on Baseball Reference--negative for defense).

clemenza, Friday, 15 August 2014 15:35 (five years ago) link

McCutchen is on the DL with his rib, who knows how much more he'll play; and aside from Lucroy and Stanton -- who I could see winning only if the Marlins get a WC, or if he hits 45 HR -- most of the nonpitcher contenders got hurt in the last month.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 15 August 2014 16:22 (five years ago) link

I heard one of the laziest sports talk radio bits of all time - some challopy shit about Kershaw not being good 'in the playoffs' and only using stats from when he was like 20-21 and one bad start in the last game of the playoffs last year after racking up 250+ fucking IP.

I know its stupid to get annoyed with such things but good lord these people dont know shit about baseball.

panettone for the painfully alone (mayor jingleberries), Friday, 15 August 2014 18:13 (five years ago) link

Eight innings tonight, three hits, two walks, 10 K, 15th win. His WAR should be around 7.0 tomorrow in just over 150 IP.

clemenza, Friday, 22 August 2014 04:38 (four years ago) link

Starting to make a rout of the MVP--his last five or six starts would have to be noticeably bad for the writers to look for other options (none of which are really compelling at the moment).

clemenza, Thursday, 28 August 2014 14:09 (four years ago) link

If I had to predict now, I'd say Kershaw/Lucroy 1-2, unless Cutch heals miraculously and leads the Corsairs to October.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 28 August 2014 15:43 (four years ago) link

i get the feeling the debate is gonna be cutch vs stanton if the marlins keep being WC relevant

kershaw missed too many games to break the no-pitchers rule and lucroy isn't having enough of a posey/mauer-ish MVP season offensively to make snoozing writers care

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Thursday, 28 August 2014 18:04 (four years ago) link

even with the missed games, he leads the majors in wins and his ERA starts with a 1. there's plenty to like from a traditional standpoint

k3vin k., Thursday, 28 August 2014 18:05 (four years ago) link

he'll win CY sure but so many writers are literally "the MVP is the hitting award", verlander had 24 wins and 250 innings when he won

would be awesome if he and felix both won tho

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Thursday, 28 August 2014 20:08 (four years ago) link

Last night was indeed a marquee match-up for four and two-thirds innings...Posnanski:

In total, Kershaw is on pace to become just the fifth pitcher since Deadball to have a sub-2.00 ERA and FIP. The previous four are all-time seasons:

1946: Hal Newhouser, 1.94 ERA, 1.97 FIP
1963: Sandy Koufax, 1.88 ERA, 1.85 FIP
1968: Bob Gibson, 1.12 ERA, 1.77 FIP
1971: Tom Seaver, 1.76 ERA, 1.93 FIP
2014: Clayton Kershaw, 1.70 ERA, 1.89 FIP

http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/era-fip-and-kershaw/#comments

clemenza, Wednesday, 3 September 2014 22:38 (four years ago) link

Doesn't happen very often, I bet: pitcher having a historically great season up against a team that seems to have a historically anemic offense. Of course, to coin a phrase, baseball is a funny game, so if he doesn't pitch a perfect game, maybe he'll give up six runs instead.

clemenza, Tuesday, 9 September 2014 02:33 (four years ago) link

he takes forever to pitch

Van Horn Street, Tuesday, 9 September 2014 14:44 (four years ago) link

I really don't want to end up as someone who obsesses over WAR, but I'm confused as to why he was 7.8 yesterday, and still 7.8 after an 8-inning start where he gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, and one earned run, and he struck out 8. He did give up a couple of unearned runs. Does WAR penalize for unearned runs? (Which I don't have a major problem with; James always thought runs allowed was more important than earned runs allowed.)

clemenza, Tuesday, 9 September 2014 15:31 (four years ago) link

are you sure they've updated the numbers yet?

Van Horn Street, Tuesday, 9 September 2014 15:40 (four years ago) link

They have. Baseball Reference updates each morning sometime around 9:00; if the standing are updated, that means everything has been updated.

clemenza, Tuesday, 9 September 2014 15:42 (four years ago) link

i don't think rWAR distinguishes between earned and unearned runs

k3vin k., Tuesday, 9 September 2014 15:47 (four years ago) link

for pitching, i prefer fWAR altho it's not perfect.

Van Horn Street, Tuesday, 9 September 2014 15:49 (four years ago) link

fangraphs also has daily updates (he got 0.3 yesterday)

had no idea rWAR includes unearned runs though i guess that makes sense

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Tuesday, 9 September 2014 15:53 (four years ago) link

Today, he went up by 0.1 on Baseball Reference. I guess the rest of the league got worse as he sat watching.

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 September 2014 13:07 (four years ago) link

didn't realize hes only given up 33 earned runs and 27 walks all season ¯\(°_0)/¯

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 10 September 2014 14:14 (four years ago) link

19-3 now. take away his horrible start against arizona early in the season and his ERA is 1.38.

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Monday, 15 September 2014 05:45 (four years ago) link

If he wins his next start, he'd get to 20 in his 27th start. SweetSpot: "Only one pitcher since 1901 has won 20 games in so few appearances -- Jesse Tannehill of the 1902 Pirates, who went 20-6 in 26 games."

clemenza, Monday, 15 September 2014 13:50 (four years ago) link

wins, feh

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 September 2014 14:09 (four years ago) link

Jeff Weaver won 20 in only 30 starts in 2012. What's really amazing is that he didn't pitch deep into games like Kershaw does -- he only had 188 IP, and I think that's a record. Kershaw is at 185 IP, so the record is safe.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 15 September 2014 14:11 (four years ago) link

sorry, Jered Weaver, not Taco Weaver.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 15 September 2014 14:11 (four years ago) link

wins, feh

I would have thought this would be one instance where wins actually are an accurate measure of excellence, along with everything else.

clemenza, Monday, 15 September 2014 15:10 (four years ago) link

what if he was having the same year, but pitching for the Padres?

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 September 2014 15:31 (four years ago) link

Kershaw's wins:

19-0, 146.2 IP, 87 H, 172/22 K/BB, 0.80 ERA, no cheap wins (though he did only pitch 5 innings in one of them; one run). Craig Kimbrel as a starter, basically, but with fewer strikeouts and better control.

clemenza, Monday, 15 September 2014 15:36 (four years ago) link

what I'm saying is with a lousy offensive team, some of those wins would be NDs or even a loss or two. Which has nothing to do with him.

Pitcher wins are an excellent measure of 19th-century accounting.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 September 2014 15:38 (four years ago) link

You've picked the most extreme example...sure, in that case he'd probably be 16-6 or something. Which doesn't change the fact that, with Kershaw, his W-L record is an accurate measure of how well he's pitched.

clemenza, Monday, 15 September 2014 15:39 (four years ago) link

except for all the other ones.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 September 2014 15:45 (four years ago) link

Which doesn't change the fact that, with Kershaw, his W-L record is an accurate measure of how well he's pitched.

Your sentence doesn't follow from mine--I don't think I said the most accurate, just one of many. I mean, I understand what you're saying, but you're using a hypothetical situation (what if he pitched for the Padres) to cast doubt on something we know to be true: Kershaw's 19-3 because he's been phenomenal, not because of run support or any other factor beyond his control. (Not sure what his run support's been, but I'm sure most of it has been superfluous.)

clemenza, Monday, 15 September 2014 15:57 (four years ago) link

NO, HE IS 19-3 IN PART *BECAUSE* HIS TEAM SCORES FREQUENTLY

k bye

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 September 2014 16:20 (four years ago) link

Sorry, I just think that's factually wrong.

The 19 wins:
0 earned runs -- 8 times
1 earned run -- 9 times
2 earned runs -- 2 times

The 3 losses:
3 earned runs -- 2 times
7 earned runs -- 1 time

The 3 no-decisions:
3 earned runs -- 3 times

What you're saying would have a little or a lot of validity with most pitchers. I don't see that it has any validity here. If you can take those games and explain how 19-3 overstates Kershaw's excellence, I'd be interested in hearing that. Unless you're arguing that he should be even better than 19-3--that some of those losses and no-decisions might have been wins--in which case you have a point.

clemenza, Monday, 15 September 2014 17:00 (four years ago) link

Wins have more meaning for pitchers who average more innings per start. At 7.4 IP/start (tops in MLB, I think), Kershaw has a lot more control over the outcome of the game than a 6 IP/game pitcher whose W-L record is more influenced by the quality of his team's bullpen.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 15 September 2014 17:22 (four years ago) link

Also, he has a decent shot at the triple crown (again).

Van Horn Street, Monday, 15 September 2014 17:32 (four years ago) link

With the Cubs crumbling, Kershaw is set to be the first NL player since WWII to win 20 in less than 30, I know wins are dumb and whatnot but that seems significant enough.

Van Horn Street, Friday, 19 September 2014 18:54 (four years ago) link

6-3 Dodgers after one inning in Chicago!

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 19 September 2014 19:38 (four years ago) link

how did you arrange Edwin's return?

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 19 September 2014 20:23 (four years ago) link

Ha, Kershaw vs Jackson -- biggest pitching mismatch of the 21st century thus far?

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 19 September 2014 20:37 (four years ago) link

So that was Kershaw's second-worst outing of the year, maybe?

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 19 September 2014 21:03 (four years ago) link

I was going to say that, after that back-and-forth from a couple of days ago, he of course goes out today and picks up his first unimpressive win of the year--first time where run support clearly made a difference. It's like he's mocking my most excellent research.

clemenza, Friday, 19 September 2014 23:06 (four years ago) link

his 20th win in his 26th start. ridic.

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Friday, 19 September 2014 23:37 (four years ago) link

uhhh Kershaw just destroyed the wins theory today, even clemenza noticed.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 20 September 2014 00:09 (four years ago) link

cheap wins are a thing, tough losses are a thing (Braves starters demonstrating the hell out of that this year), everybody drop your guns or the kid gets it

Malibu Stasi (WilliamC), Saturday, 20 September 2014 00:24 (four years ago) link

it doesn't prove his mastery of all creation, but it *is* both rare and ridiculous

mookieproof, Saturday, 20 September 2014 00:26 (four years ago) link

In the end isn't every number just made up anyway, makes u think

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Saturday, 20 September 2014 05:34 (four years ago) link

Yesterday didn't destroy didn't destroy the wins theory. There was no theory in the first place, just the idea that Kershaw's 19-3 record, in this specific instance, did not exaggerate his excellence. Today, Kershaw's 20-3 record does not exaggerate his excellence.

clemenza, Saturday, 20 September 2014 13:03 (four years ago) link

on his triple he looked like a horse galloping out of a burning barn

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 25 September 2014 04:09 (four years ago) link

We all know W-L records can be misleading, but when people quote run support, do they account for the fact that that can be misleading too? Nine runs were scored for Kershaw while he was the pitcher of record last night, so his average run support will be adjusted accordingly. What that doesn't tell you is that a) seven of those runs were superfluous, and b) the game was still 1-1 going into the bottom of the sixth.

clemenza, Thursday, 25 September 2014 12:12 (four years ago) link

SweetSpot's David Schoenfield, who I think is very good and fairly mainstream: "Let's not make the MVP debate more complicated than it needs to be: Clayton Kershaw is the best, and most valuable, player in the National League. There shouldn't really need to be a debate."

clemenza, Thursday, 25 September 2014 19:38 (four years ago) link

I wouldn't go that far--there's a debate there; LuCroy's been great, Stanton was right there until the injury (perhaps leading), there's McCutchen and Rendon--but I do agree with the middle part of that quote.

clemenza, Thursday, 25 September 2014 19:42 (four years ago) link

McCutchen will def be the focus of the "not enough innings" crowd now, but meh who cares

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 25 September 2014 19:47 (four years ago) link

In those narrative factors ILB hates--that was the first word I learned on ILB: "narrative"--I'd say McCutchen benefits from the admirable-superstar factor, and is hurt by the won-one-already factor. So a wash.

clemenza, Thursday, 25 September 2014 21:12 (four years ago) link

unless he gets 3 hits a day in the remaining games and the Bucs win the Central

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 25 September 2014 21:23 (four years ago) link

i think it's mostly kershaw vs giancarlo now, tho both seem way too unconventional to be frontrunners

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Thursday, 25 September 2014 21:26 (four years ago) link

what's unconventional about Stanton?

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 25 September 2014 21:43 (four years ago) link

Stanton is almost a too-trad candidate, but i think the writers don't want to be perceived as giving him any sort of pity vote, and at 24 they think he can improve on 37hr 105rbi when he's with the Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers.

now can we bail on awards and anticipate Kershaw's LDS start?

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 25 September 2014 21:53 (four years ago) link

as it stands it'll probably be Kershaw vs Wainwright.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 25 September 2014 21:56 (four years ago) link

Um...he'll pitch well? There's so much more room to wander around when it comes to award talk.

clemenza, Thursday, 25 September 2014 21:56 (four years ago) link

By the way, if McCutchen did come up with 12 more hits--he's the only guy left who's candidacy isn't frozen--and the Pirates caught the Cards, I think you'd have a very close vote, and I'm not sure who'd win.

clemenza, Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:00 (four years ago) link

stanton is super-unconventional. incomplete season on a losing team. after the trout/cabrera war of 2012 in which the losing team argument was used 50 million times, passionately, you'd think they wouldn't just let a guy slip in unless it's a season for the ages. he's missing less time than kershaw but missing it at the end is a lot more noticeable than missing it at the beginning.

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:04 (four years ago) link

er, 2012 wasn't a losing team argument but literally a losing out on the playoffs argument, jfc

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:05 (four years ago) link

I really don't get the playoff contention argument yeah. Also, Stanton missed (almost) as many games as McCutchen and Rendon, Lucroy is a catcher, and when it comes to WAR they all had similar numbers. What an odd season in that regard.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:10 (four years ago) link

yeah, i thought stanton missed more than he had.

but if they aren't willing to vote for mike trout's amazing 2012 because the angels had only 89 wins, it'd be a bit surprising if stanton got in with a less impressive year on a team that didn't even get to .500. it's silly. of course the playoffs thing was mostly just an excuse in 2012 but still. i've already heard the argument that stanton deserves it because the marlins were "closer to contending than anyone thought" which, rmde. poor, poor trout, my heart weeps for thee etc

kershaw had a season for the ages but it seems equally unconventional voting for a pitcher who missed 6 starts. maybe the most unconventional win since eck? still rooting for him but it wouldn't surprise me if cutch sneaks in for tradition's sake.

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:20 (four years ago) link

btw kershaw has 0.4/0.5 batting fWAR/rWAR which everyone always forgets about

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:22 (four years ago) link

watching a video of Bumgarner two grand slams*

wait was that you said?

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:28 (four years ago) link

He has a 3.72 ERA in 17 starts vs people wearing Cardinal laundry

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 3 October 2014 15:05 (four years ago) link

First time ever a guy's given up seven runs in back-to-back post-season starts. He has out-Joaquined Joaquin.

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/52236/that-happened-eight-runs-off-kershaw

clemenza, Saturday, 4 October 2014 18:15 (four years ago) link

Talk about a faulty memory; I knew Andujar didn't start game 7 of the '85 Series, but amazingly, he only pitched to two batters:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198510270.shtml

I think many people, like me, associate that meltdown with Andujar. I guess what we're remembering is the way he flipped out.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 October 2014 18:55 (four years ago) link

Russell Carleton: The Cardinals Do Not Own Clayton Kershaw

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=24798

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 6 October 2014 12:07 (four years ago) link

IIRC, in G6 of the NLCS last year there were a lot of soft hits and balls that fell just in front of the outfielders. The comeback on Friday wasn't luck -- he made bad pitches and the Cards were ringing line drives all over the place.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 6 October 2014 15:27 (four years ago) link

wouldn't argue with that, but it was, as they say, just one start.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 6 October 2014 15:35 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

are those cookies? if so you earned em buddy, we still luh you

ichabron crames (slothroprhymes), Friday, 7 November 2014 16:55 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

Ah, Facebook...Koufax vs. Kershaw thread on a discussion group, and it's essentially me on one side(about equal during the regular season, obvious edge to Koufax in the postseason) and 20 other people who believe that it's not even close because 1) Koufax never needed to hand it over to a closer (ignoring that that's simply the way the game was structured then), 2) Kershaw's postseason troubles reveal some deep flaw within him (ignoring that we're basically talking about two bad innings), and 3) Kershaw has to do it for another four or five seasons before the question's even worth addressing (ignoring that Kershaw's great run is almost as long as Koufax's right now). Maddening.

clemenza, Sunday, 18 January 2015 23:51 (four years ago) link

ah, clemenza

mookieproof, Monday, 19 January 2015 04:12 (four years ago) link

Best FIP, Pitchers Age 21 to 26 seasons, minimum 1000 IP, 1950 - present:

Tom Seaver: 2.58
Clayton Kershaw 2.61
Sam McDowell 2.62
Bert Blyleven 2.68
Roger Clemens 2.79

so yeah, he's doing pretty well so far!

♪♫_\o/_♫♪ (Karl Malone), Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:20 (four years ago) link

Of the top 30, I count 11 in the HOF; add Clemens, that would be 12. Kershaw will probably make 13 down the road (except the list will be different then). Anyway, fewer than half. I bet a comparable position player list based on WAR or OPS+ or whatever, at least two-thirds would be in or going into the Hall of Fame.

Pitchers seem to be fragile.

clemenza, Thursday, 22 January 2015 03:45 (four years ago) link

McDowell's stats between 1965 and and 1970 are rather nuts. Going from 8.2 FWAR to 2.7 to 7.2 again.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 24 January 2015 06:06 (four years ago) link

Drinking man.

clemenza, Saturday, 24 January 2015 19:16 (four years ago) link

(Something I didn't know, if true. According to Wikipedia, "The character of Sam Malone, the alcoholic ex-Red Sox pitcher portrayed by Emmy Award winning actor Ted Danson in the television program Cheers, was based on the baseball life of McDowell.")

clemenza, Saturday, 24 January 2015 19:18 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

It's Kershaw Day at BP; there are about ten free articles to read. Zachary Levine:

Kershaw is, according to the PECOTA projections, supposed to be the best pitcher in baseball this year. This is hardly a surprise. He was the best pitcher in baseball last year. By ERA+, he’s also been the best pitcher in baseball over the last two years, the last three years, the last four years, the last five years, the last six years, the last seven years, and with enough innings to qualify, the seven-year veteran has been the best pitcher in baseball over the last eight years.

The projection is something pretty familiar for Kershaw: A 2.23 ERA, 237 strikeouts in 224 innings, a 19-9 win-loss record—numbers that would give him another Cy Young Award should he be in the running against pretty much anybody other than 2014 Kershaw. The 5.8 WARP would fit right in within 0.3 wins of each of his three best seasons and a small regression from last year’s performance.

We know, though, that this is just a single line reading of what’s really a (multidimensional) continuum of possible outcomes. Specifically, it’s the median. He’s 50-50 to be above this point in each of the metrics, and he’s 50-50 to be below.

Whereas the median projection looks downright mundane given what we’re used to from Kershaw, it was the tail—and not even the extreme tail—that stood out. Kershaw’s 90th percentile projection is almost unfathomable. The raws benefit from Dodger Stadium and for it always taking a while to adjust our eyes to the light of a new run-scoring environment, but the adjusted stats tell you it isn’t just your eyes. A 1.46 ERA, the lowest since Bob Gibson in 1968 and the second-lowest of the live-ball era. An 8.8 WARP, behind only 1999 Pedro Martinez as far as seasons in the WARP time (1950-present).

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=25736

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Monday, 9 March 2015 16:50 (four years ago) link

the craziest thing to me about kershaw is he came up with two pitches - a sick fastball and a hammer curve.. the curve had so much movement sometimes the umps weren't calling it a strike, so he responds by developing a slider that has become one of the best in the game.. if he can perfect his change that he only throws like 5 times a game he can stretch his career out forever.

panettone for the painfully alone (mayor jingleberries), Monday, 9 March 2015 20:15 (four years ago) link

Very comparable to Seaver through 1971 (his greatest all-around year, though not as famous as '69)--one inning apart, for starters:

Seaver: 95-54, 1379.1 IP, 7.1 H/9, 1.045 WHIP, 3.28 K/BB, 2.34 ERA, 149 ERA+, 35.9 WAR

Kershaw: 98-49, 1378.1 IP, 6.8 H/9, 1.059 WHIP, 3.41 K/BB, 2.48 ERA, 151 ERA+, 39.7 WAR

Both in pitcher-friendly parks (Dodger Stadium more so, I think), both in pitcher-friendly eras (Seaver's definitely more so, although 1970 was a big hitter's year), both 26.

clemenza, Tuesday, 10 March 2015 01:43 (four years ago) link

I got wanting to look at some video to try to compare Steve Carlton and Clayton Kershaw's pitching. Haven't found a comparible Kershaw montage, but man check out the movement on some of Lefty's pitches in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iHFkgs1zx8

earlnash, Tuesday, 10 March 2015 02:49 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

James had a long piece a few months ago about ranking starting pitchers; his site now ranks all the current starters and updates the rankings daily. Kershaw started the year with a sizeable lead, but Scherzer and/or Felix may pass him within a start or two. (Not saying I agree with this--I'm inclined to question any system that has R.A. Dickey in the Top 20.)

http://www.billjamesonline.com/polls_ratings/starting_pitcher_rankings/

clemenza, Saturday, 23 May 2015 18:13 (four years ago) link

It's based on game scores, and it's all explained here:

http://www.billjamesonline.com/the_worlds_1_starting_pitcher/

clemenza, Saturday, 23 May 2015 18:16 (four years ago) link

that's interesting, i'll have to check in on it occasionally. as you'd expect, it incorporates a lot of past performance into the score, so strasburg is still top 25 even though he's been awful so far this season, and wainwright is at 12 even though he's already been out for a while and won't be back til next year.

Karl Malone, Saturday, 23 May 2015 19:06 (four years ago) link

Yeah, it's very much a rolling thing that goes back three, maybe four seasons (and includes postseason, hence Bumgarner up near the top). I like this:

When a pitcher is a candidate for the Hall of Fame, the fact that he was the #1 ranked pitcher in the world for two years is going to be a major credential that his supporters can point to--or, vice versa, if the pitcher was never #1, it’s a major hole in his resume.

If you tracked this through the '80s, I bet Morris only made it into the top half-dozen for one or two short stretches (and was never close to #1).

clemenza, Saturday, 23 May 2015 19:16 (four years ago) link

yeah for me you had to have been one of the best 5 players in the league for at least a few seasons to be a hall of famer. i use the same argument with the NBA HOF, which is much more of a "big hall" than baseball's. i prefer the small hall tbh

k3vin k., Saturday, 23 May 2015 21:22 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Awesome last night. I didn't know what to make of his slow start--most of his peripherals were still good, but we've seen (admittedly older: Verlander, Sabathia) some pitchers suddenly go south recently, so I wasn't sure if there was something going on there.

clemenza, Sunday, 7 June 2015 15:16 (four years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Scherzer just edged ahead of Kershaw for the #1 spot in James's rankings.

http://www.billjamesonline.com/polls_ratings/starting_pitcher_rankings/

clemenza, Sunday, 5 July 2015 17:37 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Kershaw's been bumped one more night, but when he faces Trout tomorrow, it will evidently be the first reigning-MVP-to-reigning-MVP regular-season match-up ever.

clemenza, Friday, 31 July 2015 23:40 (four years ago) link

(According to Facebook according to Reddit according to whoever they got it from. But it sounds reasonable.)

clemenza, Friday, 31 July 2015 23:41 (four years ago) link

Eight more scoreless innings for Kershaw, his scoreless streak is up to 37 innings.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 1 August 2015 23:10 (four years ago) link

He's on pace for 300 K this year too.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 1 August 2015 23:11 (four years ago) link

First Kershaw-Trout AB yesterday:

http://m.mlb.com/video/v320177383/laalad-kershaw-strikes-out-trout-looking-in-the-1st/?game_pk=415196

clemenza, Sunday, 2 August 2015 13:57 (four years ago) link

(xpost) Didn't realize how long its been since someone did this: Randy Johnson in 2002. As strikeouts go up and up, find that odd. The five-man rotation and rote use of bullpen was all in place 15 years ago, no?

clemenza, Tuesday, 4 August 2015 19:06 (four years ago) link

have to think # of IP by starters per game has decreased since then

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 4 August 2015 20:10 (four years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Trout and Harper are historic, but Kershaw is clearly the most dominant player in baseball right now. I assume they know what they're doing with the 132 pitches.

clemenza, Thursday, 3 September 2015 12:38 (three years ago) link

doyers called up bolsinger, which leads me to believe they're gonna six-man the rotation to lighten his load

slothroprhymes, Thursday, 3 September 2015 13:24 (three years ago) link

not quite as dominant as Dallas Keuchel, really.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 3 September 2015 14:18 (three years ago) link

Keuchel or not, he is building a case for a 4th cy young

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 September 2015 17:45 (three years ago) link

seager called up too btw

polyphonic, Thursday, 3 September 2015 17:49 (three years ago) link

unless you are giving enormous weight to Ks, Kershaw is probably not the best pitcher on his team this year.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 3 September 2015 18:21 (three years ago) link

Kershaw has the lead in Fangraphs WAR

polyphonic, Thursday, 3 September 2015 18:49 (three years ago) link

& counterpoint, greinke does on baseball-ref

johnny crunch, Thursday, 3 September 2015 18:51 (three years ago) link

WARP computed using DRA, Greinke by 6.70-6.49

(BP)

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 3 September 2015 18:54 (three years ago) link

'building a case' doesn't mean 'automatic winner', but yeah, I do give importance to xFIP.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 September 2015 19:14 (three years ago) link

what is DRA?

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 September 2015 19:16 (three years ago) link

I like James's rankings, which take a longer view than four or five months (the logic that every year puts a couple of guys into the All-Star Game on the basis of a fast start and little else).

http://www.billjamesonline.com/polls_ratings/starting_pitcher_rankings/

The gap between Kershaw (#1) and Greinke (#2) there is as large as the gap between Greinke and Cueto at #9. I think the Top 6 are exactly right. (Bumgarner gets credit for what he did in the postseason; ignore that, and he probably drops out.)

clemenza, Friday, 4 September 2015 15:38 (three years ago) link

xp deserved run average, here's the BP explanation http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=26195

slothroprhymes, Friday, 4 September 2015 15:41 (three years ago) link

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CO9jMi2UsAEMjmi.png:large

mookieproof, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 18:08 (three years ago) link

http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers-20150915-story.html

Definitely a Cy argument for Kershaw--a strong one--but unless he has a couple of bad starts, Greinke will win. Which is fine.

clemenza, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 19:14 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

300 K

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 4 October 2015 21:28 (three years ago) link

@based_ball

Clayton Kershaw, OPS allowed, final

2013: .521
2014: .521
2015: .521

Andy K, Monday, 5 October 2015 18:15 (three years ago) link

six months pass...

Totally missed his first start. Not too shabby, says Adam Sandler.

clemenza, Thursday, 7 April 2016 00:19 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

95 Game Score today--and knocked in the only run.

clemenza, Sunday, 1 May 2016 23:42 (three years ago) link

Missed that last start of his...Has a 19.25 K/BB ratio (77/4); the record's 11-something. Basically takes one lousy start to cut that in half, though.

clemenza, Saturday, 14 May 2016 15:33 (three years ago) link

Basically he is having last season without the (relatively) first two months.

Newest member to the 50 fWAR club.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 14 May 2016 17:08 (three years ago) link

Seaver was as 51.7 at the end of his age-28 season, Pedro 52.0, Clemens 54.2. So he should stay ahead of those guys for another season, although keeping up with Clemens at the other end will be near-impossible.

clemenza, Saturday, 14 May 2016 17:51 (three years ago) link

(I was going by Baseball Reference.)

clemenza, Saturday, 14 May 2016 17:51 (three years ago) link

Pretty sure Fangraphs/ xFIP rates him more. Here's to another 50 WAR.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 14 May 2016 21:49 (three years ago) link

Probably a dumb question but is it possible to figure out which game he'll likely be pitching in the Cubs/Dodgers series at the end of the month or is too far away to predict reliably?

Immediate Follower (NA), Tuesday, 17 May 2016 16:04 (three years ago) link

you could guess just by following the 5-man rotation and seeing when his turn would be up again. but it could be altered by rainouts, injuries, and weird baseball(tm) occurrences

I look forward to hearing from you shortly, (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 17 May 2016 16:07 (three years ago) link

A month-plus out, we left it to chance and it almost worked out--missed him by a day.

clemenza, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 22:22 (three years ago) link

I like looking up mismatched odds. You have to bet $375 on Kershaw today to win $100. That's about as long as baseball odds ever get--I guess Kershaw vs. the Braves would be even longer.

clemenza, Monday, 23 May 2016 13:39 (three years ago) link

he's sposed to pitch vs Bartolo (again) in NY next Sunday night, which means there should be some decent tix available due to the time switch

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 23 May 2016 14:02 (three years ago) link

(ok, not as many as there wd be on a non-holiday weekend)

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 23 May 2016 17:26 (three years ago) link

not as many as there were when i bought in anticipation 3 weeks ago

normcore strengthening exercises (benbbag), Tuesday, 24 May 2016 01:12 (three years ago) link

wow kudos

mookieproof, Tuesday, 24 May 2016 01:47 (three years ago) link

maddux alert through 8

k3vin k., Tuesday, 24 May 2016 04:09 (three years ago) link

https://twitter.com/SamMillerBP/status/734966240888819712

k3vin k., Tuesday, 24 May 2016 16:39 (three years ago) link

Obviously a little giddy and premature, but I love this:

•In five May starts, he has had more shutouts (three) than walks (two).

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/180219652/clayton-kershaw-goat-may-2016-dodgers?partnerId=ed-10369488-658620023

clemenza, Thursday, 26 May 2016 21:36 (three years ago) link

his k/bb ratio rn is 100/5 o_o

johnny crunch, Monday, 30 May 2016 01:05 (three years ago) link

10 ks and no walks in 7.2 IP and who gets the win? adam liberatore, who blew a save in seven pitches.

this has been your daily outrage over something no one cares about anymore

qualx, Monday, 30 May 2016 06:44 (three years ago) link

https://twitter.com/BillPetti/status/737280851524911105

k3vin k., Monday, 30 May 2016 14:54 (three years ago) link

I was messing around last night with a six-year peak (consecutive seasons) comparison between some recent pitchers--I didn't write anything down, but I think it was Pedro first, Kershaw or Maddux second, Johnson and Seaver and Clemens behind them.

clemenza, Monday, 30 May 2016 19:30 (three years ago) link

Years and years of research here:

http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t427/sayhey1/pitchers_zpso9ar9u74.jpg

In honor of Adam Liberatore, I included wins and losses.

clemenza, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 00:43 (three years ago) link

Seaver was hurt in '74--I should have gone '68-72 for him:

100-53, 2.38, 147+, 1.030, 3.52.

With that in mind, I'd rank them 1) Pedro, 2) Kershaw/Maddux, 4) Johnson, 5) Clemens/Seaver.

clemenza, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 00:49 (three years ago) link

Aargh--let's try Seaver again, '68-73:

119-63, 2.32, 151+, 1.021, 3.58.

Same ranking.

clemenza, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 00:51 (three years ago) link

At home, against Atlanta, opposing pitcher 1-6 with an ERA near 6.00. Dodgers won last night, the Braves have lost two in a row. Betting $100 on Atlanta wins $400+. If I could, I would make that bet--the set-up is just too perfect.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 June 2016 14:03 (three years ago) link

Just for fun--my own--Kershaw's line minus his one bad start against Miami:

Games started - 12
W/L - 9-0
Team W/L - 12-0
QS - 12
Average game score - 77
IP - 93.2
R - 13
ER - 12
H - 53
BB - 5
K - 112
ERA - 1.15
WHIP - 0.622
K/BB - 22.40

clemenza, Saturday, 11 June 2016 16:31 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

@McCulloughTimes
Clayton Kershaw is being flown back to Los Angeles to see team doctors.

mookieproof, Tuesday, 28 June 2016 21:44 (three years ago) link

Stay healthy, please.

clemenza, Wednesday, 29 June 2016 00:26 (three years ago) link

ffs please

k3vin k., Wednesday, 29 June 2016 02:29 (three years ago) link

at least it's a sore back, to counterpoint the trendy arm apocalypses.

helpless before THRILLARY (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:36 (three years ago) link

got an epidural(?!), going on the DL

mookieproof, Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:24 (three years ago) link

:( hope the birth goes well stay strong little kersh jr

qualx, Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:41 (three years ago) link

‏@McCulloughTimes
Dave Roberts initially said the team hoped Kershaw would be back after the break, but then he backed off that. May be a little longer.

helpless before THRILLARY (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:45 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

@McCulloughTimes
Clayton Kershaw "didn't feel great" on Sunday, Dave Roberts said. He's shut down until his back pain goes away. His return? "Uncertain."

Andy K, Tuesday, 19 July 2016 21:29 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Out until at least Aug. 27.

http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/dodgers-ace-clayton-kershaw-moved-to-60-day-dl-080316

I'd shut him down for the year, but they're close enough in the standings to complicate that.

clemenza, Thursday, 4 August 2016 01:23 (three years ago) link

The starting pitching is doing very well without him iirc

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 4 August 2016 02:15 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Looks like he's close to returning:

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/196718316/clayton-kershaw-throws-bullpen-session/

I'd say it's amazing that the Dodgers have taken over first in his absence, except it's an old story: everyone--GMs, writers, fans, me--tends to over-value the importance of one player. (Truer for pitchers, but holds for position players too.)

clemenza, Sunday, 21 August 2016 03:31 (three years ago) link

hasn't pitched in 8 weeks and leads NL pitchers in both kinds of WAR. nuts.

The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Monday, 22 August 2016 16:51 (two years ago) link

3-inning start for Rancho Cucamonga today

The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 September 2016 15:46 (two years ago) link

great job Kersh! said he's gonna start for LA in 4 games

Bandol soleil for the St. Tropez tan (outdoor_miner), Sunday, 4 September 2016 03:25 (two years ago) link

If he goes Friday and continues to take his regular turn, he'll have five more starts. I could see where his Cy Young case is still strong if he pitches well, but I think all the calendar time missed would point to Scherzer or Bumgarner. It could be a little like the year Josh Hamilton missed the last month of the season; he held on to the MVP, but I don't Kershaw will.

clemenza, Monday, 5 September 2016 02:57 (two years ago) link

eight months pass...

Will become the second-fastest to 2,000 K tonight (after Randy Johnson). So not the second-youngest--I did a double-take at first. I'm guessing Seaver, Clemens, and Blyleven got there younger. Maybe Ryan, too; he got a bit of a late start, though. And the war probably interrupted Feller.

clemenza, Saturday, 3 June 2017 00:36 (two years ago) link

No Seaver, no Clemens--very surprised.

http://groundballwitheyes.blogspot.ca/2015/05/youngest-pitchers-to-reach-2000.html

clemenza, Saturday, 3 June 2017 00:37 (two years ago) link

every time i see this thread title in my bookmarks my heart skips a beat

qualx, Saturday, 3 June 2017 00:41 (two years ago) link

Scherzer's just a couple of points from overtaking Kershaw on Bill James's "#1 Starting Pitcher Rankings" (it's all based on Game Scores, includes postseason play, and is a year-over-year running ranking):

1. Clayton Kershaw - 589.4
2. Max Scherzer - 587.2
3. Chris Sale - 557
4. Corey Kluber - 537.5
5. Madison Bumgarner - 531

clemenza, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 18:28 (two years ago) link

4 walks for kershaw tonight. he hasn't looked quite right this year
― k3vin k., Saturday, May 6, 2017 11:17 PM (one month ago)

Having a great year, but I think you were onto something there. 7-0 lead tonight, proceeded to give up three HR; that's 16 for the year, tying his career high before the break.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 04:04 (two years ago) link

make that 4

qualx, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 05:08 (two years ago) link

how the fuck did he give up 2 to Reyes?

cheap 6-ER win for CK.

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 10:53 (two years ago) link

past calendar year:

kershaw: 137.1 IP, 3.5 fWAR
jansen: 69.1 IP, 3.7 fWAR

k3vin k., Saturday, 24 June 2017 17:40 (two years ago) link

Got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first, great after that.

Overall, definitely his shakiest year in a while. Going through his game log, though, he's only had the one (really) cheap win last week; every other win was 7+ innings, 0, 1, or 2 runs. There was one cheap no-decision (4.1 innings, 4 runs), and he wasn't good in either loss (6 innings and 4 runs in both). His other two no-decisions he pitched well (16 innings, 2 runs).

It wouldn't be accurate to say the gaudy W-L record is a mirage--reverse the cheap win, call the no-decisions a wash, and he'd be 10-3.

It's the home runs that have killed him this year (leading to his worst FIP since 2010 by a big margin). Everything else is right in line with 2011-2013 Kershaw, if not always the last three seasons.

clemenza, Sunday, 25 June 2017 13:25 (two years ago) link

he's 93-0 when dodgers give him at least 4 runs of support

freedom is not having to measure life with a ruler (outdoor_miner), Sunday, 25 June 2017 14:19 (two years ago) link

Wanted to get some context for that, but Baseball Reference breaks down pitcher's starts by 0-2 runs of support, 3-5, and 6+. Anyway, with 6+:

Clemens: 179-5
Johnson: 160-11
Pedro: 105-3
Maddux: 173-10

Am I reading that correctly? All of them got six or more runs of support in half their wins? That seems really high.

clemenza, Sunday, 25 June 2017 15:26 (two years ago) link

all of them played half their careers in the steroid era

qualx, Sunday, 25 June 2017 15:28 (two years ago) link

It's almost like there's something flawed with the Win statistic ;)

Karl Malone, Sunday, 25 June 2017 15:31 (two years ago) link

I knew I was teeing one up there...Had no idea the percentage was that high, though. Era would explain some of that, yeah; I also wonder if that includes runs scored for the entire game, i.e. any runs scored after the pitcher leaves. So a guy could leave with a 2-1 lead in the seventh, his team scores four runs in the eighth/ninth, and it ends up looking like he won a blowout.

clemenza, Sunday, 25 June 2017 17:01 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Since his terrible start against the Cubs:

36 IP, 22 H, 51 K, 6 BB, 2 ER.

clemenza, Wednesday, 19 July 2017 16:34 (two years ago) link

pretty sure that includes 4 shutouts in his last 5 outings (incl one stretch of 3 in a row!) i think maybe you mean against the mets, clem, when he gave up 3 or 4 homers june 19

freedom is not having to measure life with a ruler (outdoor_miner), Wednesday, 19 July 2017 17:10 (two years ago) link

June 19 against the Mets, you're right--the Cubs go back to May 28. He had three good starts between the two.

clemenza, Wednesday, 19 July 2017 17:19 (two years ago) link

Clayton Kershaw disappeared into the trainers' room after the top half of the second inning, and now Ross Stripling is warming up. Looks like he will take it from here. No word yet on what might be ailing Kershaw, who has been pitching at his best.

qualx, Sunday, 23 July 2017 20:44 (two years ago) link

dammit. missed the beginning of the game, just tuned in to see him leave the field and there's been no conjecture what's wrong except he was holding his hip as he walked off after the top of the 2nd

freedom is not having to measure life with a ruler (outdoor_miner), Sunday, 23 July 2017 20:48 (two years ago) link

Who's the idiot who titled this thread?

clemenza, Sunday, 23 July 2017 22:10 (two years ago) link

@BNightengale
Clayton Kershaw will go on DL, #Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says. with no timetable on return; tests scheduled Monday on his back.

Andy K, Sunday, 23 July 2017 23:51 (two years ago) link

fuck

qualx, Sunday, 23 July 2017 23:56 (two years ago) link

Best player, best pitcher, and #1 future-superstar all in the same season--and you can throw in Beltre, chasing two major milestones.

clemenza, Sunday, 23 July 2017 23:59 (two years ago) link

:(

k3vin k., Monday, 24 July 2017 00:36 (two years ago) link

Sinking feeling he's going to take the Koufax parallels too far.

clemenza, Monday, 24 July 2017 14:33 (two years ago) link

btw Koufax started 314 games (+ 70some relief outings early on), threw 2324 innings

Kershaw: 284 starts, 1901 innings

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Monday, 24 July 2017 16:10 (two years ago) link

koufax also started when injuries were still treated with leeches and miracle elixirs

qualx, Monday, 24 July 2017 16:27 (two years ago) link

yep, that's why cross-era comparisons are foggy

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Monday, 24 July 2017 16:55 (two years ago) link

out for 4-6 weeks apparently.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 24 July 2017 18:00 (two years ago) link

guess Scherzer will grab Cy #3 barring a total collapse and an incredible Kershaw komeback

nomar, Monday, 24 July 2017 19:06 (two years ago) link

such a bummer

Michael F Gill, Monday, 24 July 2017 23:26 (two years ago) link

(xpost) It's in my own best interest for Scherzer to win (a HOF bet I posted about elsewhere), but I can still easily see Kershaw winning. Scherzer's last start was poor; if he has a couple of more mediocre starts while Kershaw's out, and Kershaw comes back with a strong September, it'd be close, I think. Kershaw's numbers are frozen at a pretty impressive place for the next four weeks.

Bill James's leaderboard is tightening (in the original article he designated 600 as "a historic level").

Kershaw - 610.1
Scherzer - 609.3
Sale - 596.7
Kluber - 585.1

clemenza, Thursday, 27 July 2017 15:59 (two years ago) link

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/245168842/dodgers-clayton-kershaws-back-injury-better/

Can't see that there's any incentive to re-activate him too soon with their lead.

clemenza, Saturday, 29 July 2017 20:36 (two years ago) link

Went to the game last night. So damn much fun thx in part to G'ints' bullpen

freedom is not having to measure life with a ruler (outdoor_miner), Saturday, 29 July 2017 21:23 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

clayton kershaw is expected to make his triple-a debut saturday in oklahoma city

mookieproof, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 03:12 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

What was the true nature of Kershaw's crap start?

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/20669761/clayton-kershaw-thin-line-one-bad-start-catastrophe

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 17:06 (one year ago) link

the streak lives

Kershaw's career ERA after each season of his career:
4.26
3.36
3.17
2.88
2.79
2.60
2.48
2.43
2.37
2.36https://t.co/UUjKUuvBAH

— Ben Lindbergh (@BenLindbergh) October 1, 2017

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 October 2017 18:18 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Hannah Hochevar
Fun to watch the Kershaw arm angle last night. Seemed like he dropped down a few times again. Announcers were saying that some of his problems this year are due to hitters being more geared for low balls in general. Agree?

Jeff Sullivan
He's worked lower than he usually does this season. Not that his season was in any way bad. And I don't have a good explanation for the postseason dingers, aside from, welp
The drop-down slot continues to intrigue me, because it's interesting while also not being so helpful. Kershaw hasn't pitched all that well from the second arm slot, but he's still doing it in the playoffs, suggesting that he thinks it's worth the trick
Did it four times last night. Two strikes, all fastballs, all elevated

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 20 October 2017 17:26 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Dallas Cankle:
If Clayton Kershaw opts-out next year what’s the highest Farhan Friedman goes before saying uncle?

Paul Swydan:
I think that’ll actually be a really interesting discussion. They don’t seem like the kind of front office who will be swayed by sentiment, and if Kershaw has back problems for a third consecutive season in 2018, I could see the Dodgers not making much of an effort to keep him at all.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 16:28 (one year ago) link

four months pass...
three weeks pass...

just came to post that story. something I've been noticing and dreading for a year or so now

k3vin k., Monday, 21 May 2018 23:08 (one year ago) link

Welp:

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/23664559/los-angeles-dodgers-ace-clayton-kershaw-mri-back-tightens-1st-game-back

All 20 of Clayton Kershaw's four-seam fastballs were 90.0 mph or slower in his outing Thursday night, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Last year, not a single one of his 1,142 four-seam fastballs was 90.0 mph or slower.

omar little, Friday, 1 June 2018 03:45 (one year ago) link

yikes

k3vin k., Friday, 1 June 2018 03:58 (one year ago) link

His back was giving him problems though. He probably returned too soon.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 1 June 2018 14:41 (one year ago) link

Seems like he is back for at least a month on the DL.

What a bummer.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 2 June 2018 00:51 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Won his 150th this afternoon.

Hard to know where he's at right now. He hasn't been as dominant this year, but he has been surprisingly consistent. His WHIP and K/BB ratios are back where they were four or five years ago, before he started posting off-the-chart numbers; his ERA and ERA+ match his career line. In 18 starts, he's given four runs once, three runs twice, no runs twice, and all the rest were one or two runs--as I say, consistent. His average Game Score is 60; in his MVP year, it was 70. If he gets healthy and settles in where he is right now, that'd be fine; no longer the best pitcher in baseball, but consistently one of the five or six best. "If he gets healthy," though, contains a lot--he's had three abbreviated seasons in a row.

clemenza, Monday, 20 August 2018 00:08 (one year ago) link

four weeks pass...

kershaw trivia: the only time his mouth is not hanging wide open is when he's delivering a pitch

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 02:52 (eleven months ago) link

off that point a bit, Morbs, it is interesting to see the top SPs in MLB this year and how the vast majority of them don't just have more strikeouts than innings pitched, but substantially more to what must be a historic degree. and Kershaw of all people is one of the comparative few from that group whose Ks are less than 9 per 9 IP.

omar little, Wednesday, 26 September 2018 16:20 (ten months ago) link

He's been on the DL twice this year. Can't remember the last time he had a healthy season tbqh... 2015? or '13?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 26 September 2018 16:55 (ten months ago) link

...posted in "Stay Healthy, Please: The Clayton Kershaw Thread" lol

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 26 September 2018 16:56 (ten months ago) link

I must bear the responsibility for putting the curse on him.

clemenza, Wednesday, 26 September 2018 18:03 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

Kristen:
Kershaw has been trending downwards the past few seasons in terms of FIP, FB velocity, SwStr%, Hard Hit%, etc. Add his contract demands and is it possible his market won’t be huge after all?


Jay Jaffe:
His market may not even be bigger than the team that still has exclusive rights to negotiate with him. But the extended negotiating period signals that he’d prefer to stay, and I think it’s just a matter of finding the right number. The Dodgers are clearly comfortable paying a premium to keep him.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 November 2018 18:51 (nine months ago) link

his hardest fastball in game five was 91 mph : /

mookieproof, Thursday, 1 November 2018 19:15 (nine months ago) link

Peak Kershaw clearly history, but can he still be a co-ace?

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 November 2018 19:16 (nine months ago) link

he's still pretty good, just not $35m good. especially if he's going to miss 6-10 starts each year. ehh, the dodgers can afford it

i think buehler's the ace now, tho

mookieproof, Thursday, 1 November 2018 19:28 (nine months ago) link

best decision from kershaw's perspective would seem to be extending his deal with dodgers, for sure. i'll be kind of shocked if he signs with any other team

Karl Malone, Thursday, 1 November 2018 19:40 (nine months ago) link

i'm not writing Kershaw off quite yet, he's young and a guy like Verlander had his Cy Young peak, went through worse, and bounced back to peak form.

omar little, Thursday, 1 November 2018 21:06 (nine months ago) link

he's obviously no kershaw, but i'm interested to see what happens with bumgarner too. year and a half younger, but his peripherals have declined even more. the giants have a $12m team option for 2019 at the end of an *extremely* team-friendly contract and i don't think he'll get the contract, at age 30, that he was expecting three years ago

the giants should obviously trade him but they'll probably sign sabathia, bring back marco scutaro and give the boys one more shot

mookieproof, Thursday, 1 November 2018 21:21 (nine months ago) link

i think sabathia stays w nyy on some kind of mutual wakefield-type deal

YouTube_-_funy_cats.flv (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Friday, 2 November 2018 12:08 (nine months ago) link

I'd say Kershaw's back is probably more a drag on his effectiveness than losing some speed on his fastball. He still has top level control and movement.

I kinda think CC pitches, it will be for the Yanks or I could see Cleveland maybe reaching out to maybe finish career where it started.

earlnash, Friday, 2 November 2018 12:15 (nine months ago) link

@Ken_Rosenthal
Kershaw: “I am throwing slower. I know that. And I don’t know if that’s going to be for the rest of my career, either. I firmly believe that I can get that back and I’m going to spend a lot of time this off-season working on that.”

mookieproof, Friday, 2 November 2018 12:57 (nine months ago) link

did anyone say how Verlander got his velocity "back"? cuz i'm not aware of that happening for anyone else.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 November 2018 15:12 (nine months ago) link

this is baseball's greatest mystery for me -- i can understand how players can be faster than me, or make better contact, or hit the ball farther, etc. i don't understand how they throw so fucking hard

the astros have that reliever, josh james, who supposedly added 5+ mph to his fastball after getting his sleep apnea treated. i don't understand that either

mookieproof, Friday, 2 November 2018 15:53 (nine months ago) link

Verlander's case was a weird one, maybe it was because the injuries he suffered during that time were more easily manageable? The core muscle surgery, the triceps strain...I'm no doctor, but maybe those are not so much the types of issues that'll have long-term effects.

omar little, Friday, 2 November 2018 15:53 (nine months ago) link

knowing nothing at all, i'll just bullshit and say "it's all in the wrist"

Karl Malone, Friday, 2 November 2018 15:54 (nine months ago) link

did anyone say how Verlander got his velocity "back"? cuz i'm not aware of that happening for anyone else.

Health and mechanical tweaks.

xpost

Andy K, Friday, 2 November 2018 16:02 (nine months ago) link

And some other stuff.

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2790162-the-road-that-brought-justin-verlander-back

Andy K, Friday, 2 November 2018 16:03 (nine months ago) link

three years, $93m

so he gets an extra year and $28m more guaranteed, will be a free agent following his age-33 season

mookieproof, Friday, 2 November 2018 20:19 (nine months ago) link

the astros have that reliever, josh james, who supposedly added 5+ mph to his fastball after getting his sleep apnea treated. i don't understand that either

― mookieproof, Friday, November 2, 2018 11:53 AM (ten hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Body is less tired, muscles have more explosion, etc

Sleep apnea is shit.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 3 November 2018 02:02 (nine months ago) link

yeah i have some sleep issues too but the specific correlation to a significant bump in fastball speed is astonishing

mookieproof, Saturday, 3 November 2018 02:29 (nine months ago) link

I have always wanted to be in a batter's box i just see how it feels like having a 100 mph ball coming towards you.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 3 November 2018 03:34 (nine months ago) link

No idea where you live but most cages will have a machine that hits 90 or so.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 3 November 2018 03:42 (nine months ago) link

it's not really the same. the old machines with the levers are better, but the ones with the two tires give you no sense of timing

at least you know it's probably not going to hit you . . . unless you have a sadistic coach who's torqued up the two wheels. rip jack heimbuecher

mookieproof, Saturday, 3 November 2018 03:53 (nine months ago) link

I'm a bit confused by the Kershaw deal -- the one extra year doesn't give him much security. Wouldn't he want to hit free agency a year earlier and stand a better chance at getting a good 3-4 year deal when he's 32, rather than 33?

I guess the logic is that if he opted out now, would he get 3-4 years for 100 million total (=what he'll get from the extension)? He must think the answer is no.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 3 November 2018 04:26 (nine months ago) link

yeah i'm not sure he'd get a better deal, plus he and the dodgers love each other

mookieproof, Saturday, 3 November 2018 04:45 (nine months ago) link

three years, $93m

so he gets an extra year and $28m more guaranteed, will be a free agent following his age-33 season

― mookieproof, Friday, November 2, 2018 4:19 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

great deal for the dodgers, gives them an out to cut bait if he continues to regress. surprised kershaw took it

k3vin k., Saturday, 3 November 2018 06:28 (nine months ago) link

The shape of his career may mirror Seaver's, although the ages don't align precisely.

Seaver was dominant from '69 to '73 (age 24-28), great from '74 to '81 (29-36), and then he tacked on a few years where he was still reasonably effective relative to the league (37-41). There are some blips in there, but you can more or less identify three phases.

Kershaw's dominant phase stretches from 2011-2017 (age 23-29). Maybe last year was the beginning of his merely-great phase.

clemenza, Saturday, 3 November 2018 14:52 (nine months ago) link

three months pass...

Sinking feeling he's going to take the Koufax parallels too far.
― clemenza, Monday, July 24, 2017 10:33 AM (one year ago)

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/dodgers-clayton-kershaw-shut-down-indefinitely-due-to-undisclosed-arm-issue-manager-dave-roberts-says/

I want to strangle the guy who named this thread.

clemenza, Saturday, 23 February 2019 16:45 (five months ago) link

don't feel too bad, it happens to pretty much all of them. :(

Karl Malone, Saturday, 23 February 2019 16:53 (five months ago) link

Per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, manager Dave Roberts says Kershaw has ceased throwing after feeling that something was amiss following a bullpen session. Roberts termed it an "arm kind of thing" and gave no timetable for a return to throwing. Kershaw will, however, take part in his usual non-throwing workouts.

yikes, an arm kind of thing.

Karl Malone, Saturday, 23 February 2019 16:54 (five months ago) link

in the words of Jeff Sullivan, "Pitching is bad, don't do it."

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 23 February 2019 17:00 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

well, his season debut is tonight. i would love to see him be able to have a couple more solid seasons

The immortal Hydra Viridisimma (outdoor_miner), Monday, 15 April 2019 15:39 (four months ago) link

Yeah, I’m thinking of going.

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Monday, 15 April 2019 19:23 (four months ago) link

There are at least two prominent historical precedents where guys recreated themselves and went from overpowering strikeout pitchers to...I don't know--location and guile: Luis Tiant and Frank Tanana. Must be others. If he can do that, maybe he can put in six or seven more productive years.

clemenza, Monday, 15 April 2019 19:49 (four months ago) link

cc sabathia is a good example--obviously he never returned to his late '00s, early '10s heights, but he's been effective for the past few seasons.

to halve and half not (voodoo chili), Monday, 15 April 2019 20:08 (four months ago) link

Was surprised to see him go 7 tonight (I assume he won't be out for the 8th), but only 84 pitches.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 04:19 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

Clayton Kershaw just became the most productive Dodger in history:

64.8 WAR Kershaw
64.4 WAR Sutton
63.4 WAR Sniderhttps://t.co/thNx6cFPvl

— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) August 7, 2019

mookieproof, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 15:27 (two weeks ago) link

This is almost at the level of Babe Ruth hitting the home run for the hospitalized kid on the shamelessly cornball scale, but I got a kick out of it anyway.

https://www.mlb.com/cut4/dodgers-convince-fan-to-keep-playing-baseball

clemenza, Thursday, 8 August 2019 22:51 (one week ago) link

"Before long, Kershaw will have lost even more fastball velocity. Time wounds all heels, and no one can outrun it forever. For a month, however, Kershaw has turned back the clock. He’s made a simple adjustment that makes batters’ lives harder, and for now that’s enough."

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/what-remains-of-clayton-kershaw/

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 9 August 2019 04:17 (one week ago) link

Passed Koufax in wins last night. 12 seasons each:

Kershaw - 166-71, 2.41, 159 ERA+, 4.27 K/BB, 2.70 FIP, 1.006 WHIP, 3 Cy Youngs
Koufax - 165-87, 2.76, 131 ERA+, 2.93 K/BB, 2.69 FIP, 1.106 WHIP, 3 Cy Youngs

Koufax's Cy Youngs were across both leagues, but the number of extra teams that involved was only a handful.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2019 16:58 (four hours ago) link

Also: big WAR advantage to Kershaw (65 to 53), big postseason advantage to Koufax (only a third as many innings, though).

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2019 17:01 (three hours ago) link

kershaw a better hitter, but it's a pretty low bar

mookieproof, Wednesday, 21 August 2019 17:16 (three hours ago) link


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