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 (nine years ago) link

Yikes.

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

This should be better:

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

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

he threw a lot more innings than anyone else

so . . . he was more valuable

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

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

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

Another gem and now it's 36 scoreless innings.

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

8 scoreless in coors counts double i think

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

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

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

he takes forever to pitch

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

are you sure they've updated the numbers yet?

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

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

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

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

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

wins, feh

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

sorry, Jered Weaver, not Taco Weaver.

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

no clem, I'm caricaturing the sound of the mob (ie the worst online Dodgers fans). sorry if you thought otherwise.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 October 2019 16:47 (four years ago) link

Kershaw 2.0 is definitely a different player than Kershaw 1.0, his curveball is flatter and hangs a bit more in the strike zone. His new pitch (slurvy-slider) doesn't have enough zip, and his fastball is uh...

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/eVm29BOKLxu15gyfIWQfX2B-7EY=/0x0:706x449/1720x0/filters:focal(0x0:706x449):format(webp):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/16341430/image1__29_.png

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 11 October 2019 17:43 (four years ago) link

someone somewhere was noting that his fastball and slider are now only 3mph apart -- throwing a harder fastball seems unlikely, but perhaps slowing down the slider would do enough to upset timing

mookieproof, Friday, 11 October 2019 18:44 (four years ago) link

(xpost) Fair enough.

I read that he's held in such high esteem by his teammates, they were going above and beyond when it came to consoling him.

clemenza, Friday, 11 October 2019 19:09 (four years ago) link

Interesting piece for a couple of days ago:

http://blogs.fangraphs.com/clayton-kershaw-and-the-unfairness-of-narratives/

It falls about halfway on things we've been kicking around here: important metrics that are almost the same for him in the regular- and post-season (strikeout and walk rate), one that's much worse (HR).

It does give credence to the idea that it may be tied in with "the little voice in the back of your head":

That’s the math of the situation; it can’t change the feeling, though, the little voice in the back of your head that says “Hey, are you ready for this?” every time Kershaw pitches in October. And if the voice is in your head, you can be sure it’s in Kershaw’s too, every time he gives up a home run or a chain of singles. Is this all luck? Could it possibly be luck? How can it keep happening to me? Am I tipping my pitches? Pressing too hard? Not pressing hard enough?

Saying that someone might be pressing is, to me, just the flip side of saying clutch-hitting doesn't exist. (Which I agree with, although I'd allow that there are probably very isolated cases of players who do consistently perform well under pressure--an argument for somewhere else.) Sabermetrics doesn't buy clutch-hitting because a) the evidence isn't there, and b) why would it be?--you'd have to believe that athletes have some magical ability to change their abilities at key moments. But I also believe that athletes don't have magical abilities to not fall prey to something very human: that doubt creeps in when you don't succeed a few times in the same situation. It doesn't mean that you don't occasionally succeed--get a big hit, pitch a good game--just that the doubt lingers if you also keep back-stepping, and continues to linger until you definitively close that door, like Price did last year. I don't think Kershaw has done that yet. But I think he will at some point.

clemenza, Sunday, 13 October 2019 18:15 (four years ago) link

Believing in clutchness doesn't have to be tied in to a belief that someone can do it over an extended period of time. Someone can be clutch on a given day, where they do something they might not have done on another day because they were in a different frame of mind or they told themselves definitively, "I am going to do this now and I am not going to take no for an answer." I think that kind of stuff happens all the time.

timellison, Sunday, 13 October 2019 23:06 (four years ago) link

ten months pass...

He's pretty dominant every which way this season. Did he make some change that's returned him to what he was five years ago, or is he just having a good run? Five of his six starts have been good-to-great.

clemenza, Saturday, 5 September 2020 17:55 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...

In a day of a billion I Told You So's, I thought for sure there'd be one from Morbius on this thread.

clemenza, Saturday, 3 October 2020 03:50 (three years ago) link

saw v little of Kershaw game tbh

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 October 2020 15:38 (three years ago) link

Playoff Kershaw returned last night with a typical performance ... dominated into the 6th and started serving up longballs (although he made a good pitch to Machado).

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 8 October 2020 07:22 (three years ago) link

roberts needs to treat kershaw like any other playoff starting pitcher - first sign of trouble, get him out of there. no need to go through the lineup a 3rd time.

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Thursday, 8 October 2020 14:49 (three years ago) link

six months pass...

Two excellent starts after that dreadful first one. I didn't know Baseball Reference had a player-to-player comparison feature that saves you all the work. Kershaw and Koufax have pitched almost exactly the same number of innings at this point (Kershaw's pitched ~25 more).

https://stathead.com/baseball/player-comparison.cgi?player_id2=koufasa01&type=p&player_id1=kershcl01&sum=0&request=1

Unless you factor in postseason, hard to not to give that to Kershaw.

clemenza, Monday, 12 April 2021 18:30 (three years ago) link

Sorry but Koufax has 9 saves.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 12 April 2021 20:46 (three years ago) link

damn, he's a fireman!

Zach_TBD (Karl Malone), Monday, 12 April 2021 21:07 (three years ago) link

Their opposing-batter slash line is almost identical: .209/.261/.319 for Kershaw, .205/.275/.319 for Koufax.

clemenza, Monday, 12 April 2021 21:58 (three years ago) link

Price is the difference! Koufax’s salary over that period, when adjusted for inflation, only $3,480,575.58.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 12 April 2021 23:55 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Cubs scored four in the first today, Kershaw replaced in the second; shortest start ever?

clemenza, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 19:13 (two years ago) link

didn't seem right, lots of balls in the dirt

na (NA), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 19:22 (two years ago) link

It was his shortest:

https://www.mlb.com/news/clayton-kershaw-makes-shortest-career-start-vs-cubs

clemenza, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 23:19 (two years ago) link

eleven months pass...

That's a great list because those are probably the seven most famous Dodger pitchers...maybe Don Newcombe, too.

clemenza, Sunday, 1 May 2022 16:34 (one year ago) link

yeah, amazing list! i'm not sure how much people remember dazzy vance these days. my deep cut dodgers pitcher is preacher roe.

Bruce Stingbean (Karl Malone), Sunday, 1 May 2022 16:42 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Another reason why no other sport can touch baseball

Bee OK, Thursday, 21 July 2022 01:32 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

https://i.imgur.com/dZndZst.png

what's the big deal? this is pretty much my identical back pain history

Bruce Stingbean (Karl Malone), Monday, 8 August 2022 17:03 (one year ago) link

Right? At my house we call that "5:30 every morning."

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 10 August 2022 01:29 (one year ago) link

i can totally throw, i just need someone to put my socks on and tie my cleats

mookieproof, Wednesday, 10 August 2022 01:43 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

Kershaw notches 200th career victory as Dodgers defeat Mets

mookieproof, Wednesday, 19 April 2023 05:26 (eleven months ago) link

Is Clayton Kershaw the best regular season pitcher ever? pic.twitter.com/IK9SEvHe6P

— Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) April 21, 2023

what are we doing here

k3vin k., Saturday, 22 April 2023 13:15 (eleven months ago) link

Top five of his generation, sure

omar little, Saturday, 22 April 2023 13:21 (eleven months ago) link

His career rate stats will probably rank with just about any postwar pitcher when he finishes; obviously, he'll fall well short of Clemens, Johnson, Maddux, Seaver, etc. in terms of durability. And then it's just a case of how much you put that down to the way the game has changed; would he have been logging 250-300 IP and 35-40 starts per year if he'd pitched in the '70s? No idea.

clemenza, Saturday, 22 April 2023 15:14 (eleven months ago) link

Some of his current rankings in career rate stats:

ERA+ - 4th (he's second behind Rivera post-war for unadjusted ERA; first for starters)
H/9 - 3rd
WHIP - 5th
SO/BB - 9th

clemenza, Saturday, 22 April 2023 15:37 (eleven months ago) link

I really wish he'd stayed healthier. He's at least been healthier than degrom though.

omar little, Saturday, 22 April 2023 16:09 (eleven months ago) link

Curious how much will be remembered about his postseason difficulties 20 years from now. It's the kind of thing that does tend to hang around as a footnote--I can still remember that Gil Hodges (before my time) and Dave Winfield all went through something similar.

clemenza, Saturday, 22 April 2023 17:13 (eleven months ago) link

With the expanded postseason (starting in '95 and continuing until today), postseason stats are more important than ever. Guys are playing far more postseason games than before, and more teams are making it which means no more Ernie Banks situations where they play for bad teams and never get a chance in the postseason. Yeah, let's pour one out for Mike Trout but in general, the best players will all have multiple appearances with meaningful sample sizes.

Kershaw plays for one of the most dominant regular season teams ever, has only one title, and hasn't come close to matching his regular season stats in the postseason. I'm not saying it'll be a stain on his eventual HOF induction, but it'll definitely be remembered for a long time

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 22 April 2023 18:32 (eleven months ago) link

I love kershaw and am glad he’s recognized as the all-time great that he is, but to consider him the best regular-season pitcher ever (which is distinct from the best per-inning pitcher) seems a little insulting to the guys who were every bit as good and pitched a lot longer

k3vin k., Saturday, 22 April 2023 19:11 (eleven months ago) link

Agree, except that's what I mean about the changing game --would he have matched the Carltons and Madduxes if he'd pitched in their era? Verlander and Scherzer are considered old-school workhorses, and Kershaw isn't too far behind either one of them in career IP.

clemenza, Saturday, 22 April 2023 19:38 (eleven months ago) link

for sure, he's got a great case for best pitcher of his generation. but I imagine it's going to be kind to one's rate stats to take a few weeks off every couple of months and
rarely face hitters more than twice a game

k3vin k., Saturday, 22 April 2023 22:20 (eleven months ago) link

Assuming Kershaw, Verlander & Scherzer are all of the same generation, I wouldn't rate Kershaw better than the other 2, more like equals.

I hate hypotheticals, but had Kershaw been healthy and not having those numerous IL stints, he may have had a stronger case.

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 22 April 2023 22:31 (eleven months ago) link

(xpost) Totally agree again, I'm just wondering if that has more to do with him or usage patterns? Is there any evidence he wouldn't have pitched as much as Seaver in the '70s or Maddux in the '90s if he'd been around then? I guess he does seem a little fragile...Quick check: he was in his league's Top 10 for IP five times, but Seaver was Top 10 twelve times and Maddux Top ten seventeen (!) times. So maybe you're right, it has more to do with him.

clemenza, Saturday, 22 April 2023 22:34 (eleven months ago) link

Kershaw is pretty awesome but I agree w kev and steve and ntbt, which I don't think diminishes CK. Actually think he might be slightly the best of his era but it's not clear cut due to the likes of Verlander and Scherzer, though it's also an era where someone like Scherzer has career CG/shutout numbers which equate to basically what David wells might have done in one season. Everyone has the diminished workload compared to prior decades. But Kershaw also has the injuries and what feels like a bunch of incomplete seasons strung together over the past decade (except for 2015.)

omar little, Sunday, 23 April 2023 00:09 (eleven months ago) link

no particular shade on kershaw, but my god verlander's late 30s were incredible

mookieproof, Sunday, 23 April 2023 00:41 (eleven months ago) link

one month passes...

Dodgers, Kershaw announce ‘Christian Faith’ event amid Pride fallout

https://ktla.com/news/local-news/dodgers-kershaw-announce-christian-faith-event-amid-pride-night-controversy/

...

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Friday, 26 May 2023 21:17 (ten months ago) link

in the spirit of straight pride, international mens day, all lives matter, etc.

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Friday, 26 May 2023 21:18 (ten months ago) link

I thought this was just fuckawful timing but then I read this and I’m like, fuck him for this, honestly.

TY FRANCE HATES TEXAS CONFIRMED (gyac), Tuesday, 30 May 2023 20:02 (ten months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Notice he's really turned it around in June. Last four starts:

27 IP, 20 H, 28 K, 7 BB, 1.33 ERA

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 June 2023 18:26 (nine months ago) link

four months pass...

https://www.tsn.ca/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers-clayton-kershaw-has-shoulder-surgery-hopes-to-pitch-next-year-1.2030667

Postseason aside--and maybe making amends is what drives him; is it money at this point?--his regular-season body of work is still close to flawless. His career ERA sits at 2.48, all his rate stats are among the best ever, and (if you care) his winning pct. is just shy of .700. I'm a little surprised he doesn't hang it up.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 November 2023 02:56 (five months ago) link

You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end, it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 4 November 2023 08:23 (five months ago) link

It's not just about the money, if it was, he would have pursued (and received) a multi-year deal from someone. He knows he can still compete at a high level. Maybe he really wants to end his career playing in his home state, that's the kind of thing every kid dreams about. But he also wants to win, and the Dodgers have been the best team nearly every year during his career. It's not an easy decisions, and good on him that he's earned the right to end his career on his own terms.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 4 November 2023 08:35 (five months ago) link

Perfect use of one of my favourite lines ever.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 November 2023 13:30 (five months ago) link


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