Stay Healthy, Please: The Clayton Kershaw Thread

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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:

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 (five years ago) link

Russell Carleton: The Cardinals Do Not Own Clayton Kershaw

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

ah, clemenza

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

Drinking man.

clemenza, Saturday, 24 January 2015 19:16 (five 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 (five 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).

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Monday, 9 March 2015 16:50 (five 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 (five 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 (five 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.

earlnash, Tuesday, 10 March 2015 02:49 (five 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.)

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

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

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

four weeks pass...

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

clemenza, Sunday, 5 July 2015 17:37 (five 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:

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 (four 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 (four years ago) link

not quite as dominant as Dallas Keuchel, really.

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

seager called up too btw

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

Kershaw has the lead in Fangraphs WAR

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

& counterpoint, greinke does on baseball-ref

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

WARP computed using DRA, Greinke by 6.70-6.49


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

what is DRA?

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 September 2015 19:16 (four 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).

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 (four years ago) link

xp deserved run average, here's the BP explanation

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

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

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 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

300 K

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


Clayton Kershaw, OPS allowed, final

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

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

six months pass...

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

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

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