Stay Healthy, Please: The Clayton Kershaw Thread

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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 (five years ago) link

are you sure they've updated the numbers yet?

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

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

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

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

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

wins, feh

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

sorry, Jered Weaver, not Taco Weaver.

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

except for all the other ones.

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

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

Van Horn Street, Monday, 15 September 2014 17:32 (five 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

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

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

Yeah, I’m thinking of going.

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Monday, 15 April 2019 19:23 (five 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 (five 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 (five 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 (five 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 (one month 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 month 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 month 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 (three weeks 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 weeks ago) link

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

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


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