The Dodgers will begin a new decade in 2020 but first, let’s look back at Clayton Kershaw’s dominant decade in the 2010s.
The Dodgers saw Clayton Kershaw arrive on a single pitch. It was a curveball to Sean Casey in a spring training game. Vin Scully deemed the pitch “public enemy number one” and you could hear the excitement in Scully’s voice. That kind of excitement from a broadcaster who was rarely fazed and seen some all-time greats? We should have known we were in for a treat.
That’s exactly what this decade has been for Dodger fans getting to see the greatest pitcher of the generation and one of the best pitchers ever don the Dodger uniform. While Clayton’s first season came back in 2008 and his breakout season in 2009, his best seasons have come during the decade of the 2010s.
What Clayton Kershaw has done during the last decade is one of the greatest runs ever for a starting pitcher. From 2010-2019, Kershaw has led the National League in ERA five times, including four consecutive seasons from 2011-2014. In that same four year span, Clayton won three Cy Young awards, an NL MVP award, and threw a no-hitter.
Kershaw’s no-hitter on June 18, 2014, against the Colorado Rockies is regarded by some as the greatest no-hitter ever. It was the first no-hitter in MLB history to feature fifteen strikeouts and not a single walk allowed. 2014 was a magical year for Clayton as he became the 13th pitcher to lead MLB in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. That earned him the Cy Young and MVP award.
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While the awards stopped coming in for Clayton Kershaw in 2014, the eight-time all-star has made four all-star appearances since then including this year in 2019. While back and arm injuries have led to a decrease in velocity, Kershaw remains a very good starting pitcher and should continue to be one in 2020.
The Dodgers will begin a new decade in 2020 and begin what could be the final two seasons of Clayton Kershaw’s career but oh what a ride and a decade it has been. While many choose to harp on him for his playoff shortcomings, it’s time to get over that as even Kershaw himself has accepted what seems to occur every October.
Clayton Kershaw gave the Dodgers one of the best decades Major League baseball has ever seen from a starting pitcher. In today’s game, there are not many starting pitchers that pitch late into their 30’s and the quality of starting pitching has gone down since the usage of “juiced baseballs”.
Clayton Kershaw is not only a Dodger great but an all-time great and before the new decade begins it only felt right to look back and admire Kershaw’s work from the last decade. I always wondered what it might have felt like watching Sandy Koufax dominate opposing batters and thanks to Clayton Kershaw, I can picture what it might have felt like watching Koufax deal.