Dodgers: 3 stats that prove we don’t appreciate Clayton Kershaw enough
By Adam Weinrib
1. His Breaking Ball is Somehow Getting Better as He Ages
It wouldn’t be a Clayton Kershaw list without shining a spotlight on his curveball, which is the type of “thing of beauty” baseball writers will try to communicate to their sons and grandchildren with poetic soliloquies for decades to come.
“You don’t understand,” they’ll say. “It flitted downward like a bird caught in a haboob.”
“That’s nice, dad, but I can just check it out on VR,” the futuristic kids will reply.
What you might not know about the historic pitch, though, was that it was potentially at its most fearsome point ever in Wednesday’s win over the Reds.
In that seven-inning start, Kershaw racked up 22 swings and misses on the pitch alone, tied for the most he’s ever recorded in a single outing.
The other two times he matched that mark were…last postseason against the overmatched Milwaukee Brewers and in 2015 against the San Francisco Giants, who were decidedly not in the midst of an even year at the time.
That Brewers start, FWIW, was eight innings long, so it seems Kershaw got even more efficient during the offseason.
So, when you brave the traffic and plunk down the cash at the Dodger Stadium gate, be very aware you’re still watching history whenever Kershaw takes the mound.
When you find a groove on your couch, know you’re about to watch a ruthlessly efficient outing from a future Hall of Famer and can probably make early dinner plans.
Even as the years pass, it’s still the same as it ever was.