Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw still a model of consistency for the Dodgers
The Dodgers won another series last night behind another quality start by Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw remains a model of consistency.
Clayton Kershaw has been as consistent as ever in his twelfth big league season with the Dodgers. The future hall of famer has now made twenty starts this season and he has made it through six innings in all twenty of those starts. He also has seventeen quality starts and while that isn’t always the true definition of a “good” start, it’s still meaningful.
Tuesday night, Kershaw pitched seven innings allowing just one run on four bases hits. He struck out nine batters and only walked one. After walking five batters in his previous outing, it was good to see Clayton exhibit the kind of control that has made him a hall of famer even if he were to retire today.
The Cardinals have always been a team that has given Kershaw trouble throughout his career. If you go back and look at his worst playoff outings, most of them seem to have come against the red birds. On Tuesday night they gave Clayton little trouble at all as he cruised through another strong outing.
Since the All-Star break, Kershaw has pitched the best that he has all season. He has a 1.74 ERA in five starts since the break. In that span, the opposition has hit just .176 against him and his WHIP is 1.00. That’s just a tick under his career WHIP of 1.01. In other words, Kershaw is back to pitching like a top ten pitcher in baseball.
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Although Kershaw is no longer able to throw 95 MPH fastballs past hitters, he has learned to pitch with what he has which is a 90-91 MPH fastball and on a good day, he will hit 92. His curveball is still confounding as ever and his slider remains deceptive. He is having a much better season than anyone anticipated back in spring training.
It’s easy to forget now that Kershaw is putting together another fine season, but back in the spring there were concerns about how effective he could still be. After missing significant spring training time with an arm ailment and refusing to take an MRI, many wondered if the end was near for Kershaw’s illustrious career.
He was shut down after not feeling right but once he began his season he has put those concerns to rest. With the Dodgers coasting to another postseason appearance and gearing up for another World Series run, Clayton Kershaw remains a big piece of the championship puzzle. Even without his best stuff, Clayton remains a model of consistency for the Dodgers.
Although he may no longer be the club’s ace, which is open for debate, Kershaw is one of three starting pitchers the Dodgers can throw out in October and feel pretty good about their chances of winning. Maybe this season will be the one that Clayton puts together his best postseason yet.