All Hail the Legendary Clayton Kershaw

September 28, 2013 at 12:53 am | Posted in Clayton Kershaw | Leave a comment

kershaw_dark_2013-04-17No, the game isn’t over. Yes, it’s 11-0 Dodgers, and I can’t imagine anyone really cares how it actually ends. So let’s take a moment to focus on the great Clayton Kershaw, who struck out eight over six scoreless innings to cap off what is almost certainly a second Cy Young award — and, if not for the fun narrative of “old knuckleballer” R.A. Dickey, should have been three in a row.

That lowers Kershaw’s ERA to 1.83, the first pitcher to finish below 2 since Roger Clemens in 2005 and just the 19th such season since the mound was lowered in 1969. He’s the first pitcher to lead the bigs in ERA for three seasons in a row since Greg Maddux did so between 1993-95, and just the third overall. (Lefty Grove did it four years in a row, between 1929-1932.) He joins Sandy Koufax as the only Los Angeles Dodger pitcher with a sub-2 ERA; along with Koufax and long-forgotten Nap Rucker, he’s one of just three Dodgers with five straight sub-3 ERA seasons.

In 33 starts this year, Kershaw allowed zero or one earned runs a shocking 19 times, and two runs or fewer 25 times. Between pitching and batting — you remember the homer against San Francisco on Opening Day, right? — he’s been worth about seven wins, which makes him one of the five or so best players in baseball, and he’s not even playing every day.

He is without question the best pitcher in baseball. He’s on pace to be one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the sport. He’s going to win the Cy Young; he’s very possibly going to finish in the top three in the MVP balloting.

If we’re taking for granted what he’s doing, then it’s us who is doing it wrong. He is Clayton Kershaw. He’s 25 years old. He is, to put it lightly, a legend in our own time. Appreciate it. And for heaven’s sake, pay the man.

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