Categorized | Mark Timmons

June 10, 2009 – Kershawshanked

June 10, 2009 – Kershawshanked

Well, another tough outing for Clayton Kershaw tonight. He lasted just 2.2 innings, threw 83 pitches, 5 hits, 3 earned, 4 walks, and 2 Ks. Again, the walks are killing him, although he was hit pretty well too. To me it looked as though the pitch selections were a bit off but when the location is too it makes for disaster.

dodgersClayton will be used economically this season the team had noted a few weeks ago, and we can expect to see him skipped a few times during the season. I think that once Stults and Milton come off the DL we will see this. They want to limit his innings and also give him some time to work things out and build his confidence, probably out of the pen at some point.

The pen was brilliant again tonight with Weaver pitching a very solid 2.1 scoreless innings, and he could have went more.

Wade was fantastic, economical with his pitches and K’d 2 in two innings of work with only 21 pitches and no walks or hits. It appears as though he has finally hit his stride. If only McDonald could do the same in the minors.

A rather uninspiring offensive display tonight as Correia had our number through 6 innings with no walks and 4 Ks.

I mean, I just don’t know what else to say. It was a very flat game for everyone. Hopefully these days off are not getting our guys out of rhythm. The bright point was the bullpen, but that was it. I’ll have more for you regarding Torre’s postgame comments soon.

About Miguel Salcido

Professional online marketing consultant, husband, father, completely obsessed Dodgers fan, writer, speaker, and all around sports fan. I represented LADodgerTalk.com in the press box at Dodger Stadium last season. My favorite player is Orel Hershiser. I am currently grooming my 2 and 4 year old boys as avid Dodgers fans. Follow me on Twitter, http://twitter.com/ladodgertalk. Oh, and I hate the Giants.

49 Responses to “June 10, 2009 – Kershawshanked”

  1. lawdog says:

    Has Pedro got his bag packed?

  2. Mark_Timmons says:

    I was impressed with Andre Ethier's RBI single. That showed a lot more to me than the solo HR's.

  3. Mark_Timmons says:

    To me, I thought Clayton though he was Greg Maddux and was trying to "nibble" at the corners. He had good stuff, he just wasn't pitching like Clayton Kershaw – he as trying to be too finesse. But, even when he gets hit "hard", all they get was one exrea-base hit. He gave up 4 singles and a double. Even when he's BAD and he did sitink up the joint last night, no one tees of on him much. His stuff is too good. He just needs to be Clayton Kershaw, not Greg Maddux!

  4. Blue Haze says:

    Maybe Clayton is just too lose and that causes him to loose ballgames.

  5. CaptainLoose says:

    From what I read he WAS pitching like Clayton Kershaw. He has great stuff that he just cannot locate. That has been his problem all year.

    I still have the same question – why do our pitchers throw so many pitches? Just get strike one people, if they hit it, so be it. I think Kershaw might be surprised to see how many outs he would get by pitching to the bat.

  6. Mark_Timmons says:

    Kershaw has seen that. When he almost pitched the no-hitter he was pitching to contact. I'll say this: He is no "all over the place." He's not throwing lots of balls in the dirt or to the backstop, he's just "nibbling" too much.

  7. Blue Haze says:

    Not to mention, Kershaw wastes so many curveballs, uses the wrong release point numerous times in a game, resulting in big, lollipop curves that float in harmlessly about shoulder height to the batter. So what I am saying is, since he is not throwing strikes consistently the batters just back off and allow him to pitch himself into trouble. A major league pitcher should not be throwing 100 pitches before the fourth inning in most of his starts. The guy really isn't ready yet for this level, but what are you going to do when your staff has been injured a lot. At this point in his career, Kershaw is a marginal fifth starter.

  8. BillRussell says:

    From what I saw last night, it didn't even look like he was nibbling. He couldn't throw the fastball over for a strike when he needed to. When your walking the 7, 8 and 9th hitters, you know your in trouble. It did look like the ump squeezed him a few times with his big bender but the real issue was he just couldn't throw a strike when he needed to. A few more outings like this and he may be better served pitching at AAA for awhile.

    One has to notice that Tony Jacksons picture and name has left the building. Does the press box passes dry up for you boys now? Will you write about what happened? Will he contribute from time to time? Sorry that couldn't have worked out.

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    Something did impress me during last nights game — the San Diego p[itcher Kevin Correia. He was a key story. He out pitched Kershaw. Our bright and glowing star that we say is so wonderful. Correia out pitched him, big time.

    In Correia's last two starts he has beaten Arizona and the Dodgers. Going 6 innings in each game. To Arizona he gave them 5 hits, to the Dodgers – 4 hits. In those 12 innings, 8 Ks, only 1 walk, and 0 HRs.

    I really know nothing about him, except I found he has played 6 years with the Giants and now this year with S.D.

    As for last night, in his 6 innings he threw 81 pitches and 55 for strikes.
    Kershaw went 2.2 innings (not even three) and threw 83 pitches (4.1 more innings !!! ).

    Also, last night the odds makers had the Dodgers big time over S.D.

    Also, I have not studied our bench of late, but they seem to be doing terrible. How long has it been since we have had a hit from the bench?

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    As I said yesterday, Kershaw seems to be going backward now. It is like, "Clayton is pitching tonight, better get someone up in the pen after the first hitter or two."

    If the Dodgers has signed Pedro (or someone else) a month ago, I would send Clayton down for "more seasoning." But his mother probably could not take it.

    The KEY for Hershaw is — in two years from now, we somewhat expect him to be a very key pitcher on this team, along side Bills. A real 1 – 2 punch. A Don and Sandy team.

    Now I suppose, he will go out a pitch next time, giving up 2 hits in 6 innings, strking out 9 or 10 and look like a million dollars. Then . . .

  11. lawdog says:

    Bank on it! If he pitched lousy again then he wouldn't be "inconsistent", now, would he?

  12. CaptainLoose says:

    In May he had 6 starts and 35 IP. He went 7 twice, 5 three times and 6 once. He never threw less than 97 pitches. In June he has gone 8 innings with 191 pitches.

    Something is dreadfully wrong there. At that rate, this kid won't see September let alone October.

    • Kershaw's innings will be limited the rest of the season Torre has mandated. In fact he noted a few weeks ago that we can expect to see some of his starts skipped from time to time in order to "keep his innings down." But right now we have Stults and Milton on the DL. So after they are both back at the end of the month I'll bet the we start to see Kershaw skipped more.

  13. Mark_Timmons says:

    To me, I thought Clayton thought he was Greg Maddux last night, and was trying to "nibble" at the corners. He had good stuff – he just wasn't pitching like Clayton Kershaw – he as trying to be too finesse. But, even when he gets hit "hard", all they get was one exrea-base hit. He gave up 4 singles and a double. Even when he's BAD, and he did sitink up the joint last night, no one tees off on him much. His stuff is too good. He just needs to be Clayton Kershaw, not Greg Maddux!

    Pedro would probably need 4-6 weeks in the minors to get ready.

  14. Roger Dodger says:

    Capt', are you suggestion to call the Dr., get the knife ready ???

    Fact: he is trying too hard. He wants to be a Feller / Koufax / Gibson / Sandy / Seaver all rolled into one. What he needs to do is to watch the movie, It Happens Every Spring, and get some of that hair cream.

  15. BillRussell says:

    No reply on TJ?

  16. CaptainLoose says:

    Maybe he is trying to hard. If he can't get a 93 mph fastball over the plate, could he get a 91 mph fastball over? And as for the curve, it breaks so much maybe he needs to just try to throw that one at the ankles, or bounce it, and go with a slider as his breaking pitch.

    Hey, I am not the pitching coach but if I was I would tell him to throw everything right down the middle and see what happens.

    Who knows, maybe that's exactly what he is doing.

    • His curve breaks so much that umps have a hard time calling it for strikes. So it needs to be his swing and miss pitch. Therefore he always needs to establish the fastball in order to be effective.

  17. mark says:

    Just got back.

    1. We cannot work it out with Tony – probably best for all sides. Still friends – no a bad thing, just a thing.

    2. Press passes had nothing to do with Tony. That won't stop.

    3. I think Tony is looking to get in a different field, but you never know – the door is still ajar.

  18. mark says:

    Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Clayton has a 4.50 ERA, and he has the rest of the season to improve. Maybe you would like to have John Maine, Cole hammels, Roy Oswalt, Jeff Suppan, Brett Meyers, Chris Young, KEVIN FREAKIN'CORREIA, John Danks, AJ Burnett, Jon Lester, Randy Johnson, Gavin Floyd, Carl Pavano, Jon Garland, Jamie Moyer or Brad Penny. THEY ALL HAVE WORSE ERA's THAN CLAYTON!

    Maybe they should all go back to the minors too! There are about 60 starters in all of MLB who have a better ERA than Clayton – that puts him at a 3 or 4, at worst!

    He's 21, but he's already better this year than half the MLB starters. His stuff is too good. He will be fine. Look at his body of work – not just the last bad game. This kid has no business in the minors an I doubt you would find a GM is all of baseball who would send him there.

  19. Its funny there were many last night talking about, "they should send him back down to the minors, poor kid is just over matched and his confidence is getting crushed." I agree with Mark in that this is not a good idea. He will just need time to work through this stuff, just like Bills did. Bills had many poor starts before he finally put it together last season.

    Clayton looked pretty defeated after the game in the clubhouse. But he looked like he'd be OK, time heals many wounds and he'll get back on the hill and go at it again when called upon next. Good thing he's got a good had on his shoulders!

  20. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, you are yelling again. Lecturing again.

    Clayton is not ready . . . It is not ERA, it is control. It is pitching within oneself. Kershaw was outpitched last night. Period. Now I am lecturing. You like to ride a favorite player, and when someone differs with you — you lecture. This is your web site, you can do what you want to, but lecturing others can RUN FOLKS OFF.

    When we saw Clayton in that "A" clas game a couple of years ago — yes, the scout there that we talked with really like him — but he lost that game and the other team was not shut down by Kershaw, and that was a "A" class game.

    As I look over his record stats – he is not getting bombed, he is not in control of his game. Too many pitches, struggles to get throught too many innings. It seems now, when he goes out there, it is a big "if" of who will show up. Our next hero, or a guy that should be in the minors learning to pitch professional baseball.

    Again, his mother must be having a very hard time after last night performance.

  21. mark says:

    Roger,

    Lecturing or just stating the facts?

    Listen, control issues are rampamt in our system. Elbert, Miller, Lindblom, McDonald, Troncoso all suffer from the same malady. Shoot, so does Billingsley. Those guys didn't fix it in the minors.

    I don't know how else to say it, and why sugar-coat it – the guy has control issues – but he has a 4.50 ERA – I think it's absurd to send him down.

    Now if he had a 6.50 ERA or even a 5.50 ERA he goes, but the major league average for a starter is 4.50. If he's 21 and pitching at the major-league average, and almost pitched a no-hitter a few weeks ago, why send him down?

  22. mark says:

    There's no challenge for him at AAA. Billingsley had 58 BB in his first 90 innings and he was older than Kershaw. Kershaw had 52 BB in 109 innings last year. He's actually better than Billingsley at the same stage of development. In 2006, Chad had a 5.27 ERA BEFORE the all-star game. Should he have been sent down? It would have been a mistake because he was 3.16 after the all-star game.

    A talent like Kershaw has to have time to develop. He is maddening at times, but he may pitch a no-hitter the next time out. Zach Greinke got bombed for 7 runs in his last start. Kershaw looked bad last night, but I have to look at his "body of work" and his 4.50 ERA tells me loud and claer that he belongs in the majors.

  23. mark says:

    And you are right. I assess a guys talent level and I don't waver from my opinion. I used to take a lot of flack for my support of Adrian Beltre. Clayton has done nothing to sway my opinion about him. I expect edhim to struggle at times, but he'll get better.

    Let's see where he is at by August. I am just not going to look at one game and say "he needs to go down." Not with a 4.50 ERA!

  24. mark says:

    And Kevin Correia DID outpitch him, but Correia still has a 4.80 ERA. We just couldn't hit him – not taking any credit from him, but he had a 5.13 ERA BEFORE he pitched against us.

  25. mark says:

    If you see Clayton up close, you know that after a bad game, he looks defeated, but the kid is a warrior. He will not let that deter him. He has a short memory and next start he will be ready.

  26. mark says:

    Badger,

    We could have secured about half of those pitchers with ERA's below Kershaw, such as Jon Garland, but would that make us better?

    You guys are looking through a "fish-eye" lens. I have the wide-angle lens out. Check out the big picture,

  27. lawdog says:

    Mark's style is to throw in his $0.02 whenever he thnks someone has posted a softee post based on opinion and not backed up with facts. He has grown more tolerant. He used to lecture in all caps!

    But trust me on this, meet him on the issue and back up your post with facts and not just opinion. He'll listen. And he'll admit when he's wrong. (He's just not wrong very often.) Actually, I'm a lot the same. If I see something is true and I make an argument I won't back off if someone tries to refute by saying I'm wrong but not backing up their opinion with facts.

    Opinions are a lot like assholes. Everyone has one. And it's easy to say anything when you don't know what you're talking about.

  28. Roger Dodger says:

    I think the Clayton does have something to learn at AA or AAA — to control his pitches, pitching every 5th day. Maybe part of it is — over throwing, not using the same grip for each pitch within that pitch, whatever, but I think all Dodger fans, inside the park, on TV, and over the radio — feel his pain when he does have the solid game . . . and struggles like he did last night. I think that pressure can work agains development at age 21.

    Key, it is just too bad that the Dodgers are so short of starters that they are pushing him to be in the majors with command and control as big issues.

    Let him have several starts where the games do not count. He can manage up here without him for a few games.

  29. Roger Dodger says:

    (continue . . )

    I remember when we had Edwin Jackson. For three years the Dodgers tried to work him in at the ages of 20 – 21 – 22.

    In 2003 he was 2-1 with ERA of 2.45 starting 3 games, 22 IP.
    In 2004 he was 2-1 with ERA of 7.30 starting 5 games, 24.2 IP.
    In 2005 he was 2-2 with ERA of 6.28 starting 6 games, 28.2 IP.

    In 2006, with Tampa, after the trade, he was a reliever with 36.1 IP.
    In 2007 he was (get this) 5-15, ERA of 5.76 starting 31 games, in 161 innings.
    In 2008 (at age 25) he was 14-11, ERA of 4.42 starting 31 games, in 183.1 innings.
    Now, 2009, with the Detroit Tigers —
    at age 26, he is 6-3, ERA 2.16 in 12 starts in 83.1 innings —- finally at age 25, and now at 26 is a key pitcher for the Tigers.

    In his case, the Dodgers needed a pitcher — and counted on a 20 year old to be that guy. And it did not work.

    The real bottom line is this, in the Major League today, there is a real shortage of starters. Not many teams have 3 good ones, let alone 5.

  30. CaptainLoose says:

    Mark I think there are plenty of GM's out there that would have Kershaw in the minors right now. But, they would have also secured another starter before the season opened.

    Sure, his stuff is Major League ready, but he isn't until he can find the plate with it. To have him in there throwing 100+ pitches to get through maybe 6 is very tough on him and on the bullpen. He is 3-5 on a team that is 19 games over .500. I think many of those guys you mentioned could do that.

    Like I said at the beginning of ST, I would have him throwing 85-90 pitches every 5th day working on his command at a place where wins and losses didn't matter. And when he showed me he could throw three pitches for strikes, he is up and starting. But that is just me. As you know, I don't think the same way Colletti does.

  31. BillRussell says:

    I think what some people are saying is that if he continues to struggle finding the strike zone like he did last night he should be sent down to correct it. If he pitches like we know he can he will stay put. If over the next three starts, he only lasts 2 innings, you can bet that Ned will send him down for work in the minors. He either needs to figure it out before September ends or we need to pick up another starter for post season. He just may be to green to pitch in the post season this year. Two years from now he may be our Ace. Bottom line is that we can't afford to let him lose his confidence and going down to work on his delivery just may be the answer. We will have to see what happens over the next two or three starts. Do you agree with that Mr Mark?

  32. Mark_Timmons says:

    Billy,

    1. Clayton has always pitched 4+ in nings until last night.

    2. Clayton had a 2.04 ERA in his last 6 starts before last night.

    3. Why is it that Either hits .211 in May and he's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and Kershaw has a 7.29 ERA in April, a 2.57 ERA in May, 3.36 in June (including his last start) and he needs to go to the minors. It's absurd!

    4. What am I supposed to say?

    5. Figure what out – he's at 4.50 which is right in the midfdle of all starters?

    6. Why do we suddenly have to look at the next 2 or 3 starts? If you do that then Martin, Furcal and Ethier should have been in AAA.

    7. You can't treat players like that!

    8. Clayton has a bad game (1st one in 6) and he needs the minors?

  33. Mark_Timmons says:

    Billy,

    1. Clayton has always pitched 4+ innings until last night.

    2. Clayton had a 2.04 ERA in his last 6 starts before last night.

    3. Why is it that Either hits .211 in May and he's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and Kershaw has a 7.29 ERA in April, a 2.57 ERA in May, 3.36 in June (including his last start) and he needs to go to the minors. It's absurd!

    4. What am I supposed to say?

    5. Figure what out – he's at 4.50 which is right in the midfdle of all starters?

    6. Why do we suddenly have to look at the next 2 or 3 starts? If you do that then Martin, Furcal and Ethier should have been in AAA.

    7. You can't treat players like that!

    8. Clayton has a bad game (1st one in 6) and he needs the minors?

  34. Mark_Timmons says:

    Billy,

    You could stomp on Clayton's guts and he wouldn't lose confidence. He's not THAT guy!

  35. CaptainLoose says:

    He is 21 years old and has never pitched more than 170 innings in any given year. In three years he has a total of 327 innings pitched.. Did he throw this many pitches to get through those 327 innings?

    OK, he is here and in the rotation. I got it. This is OJT for the kid and we live with the consequences whatever they are. I just wonder if he can throw 3,200 pitches this year and be available and helpful in September and October.

    All I am saying is if I am GM, he starts the year at AA again, shows me he has control of 3 pitches, throws those three pitches 85 times a night, then I bring him up mid summer and he will be strong enough to go the rest of the way.

    I think what we are doing is dangerous. We may be ok with it, but that's how I feel about it.

  36. BillRussell says:

    I guess we will see. Raffy, Martin and Ethier have been proving their craft for a few years now. You're just throwing crap against the wall to see if it will stick now. No knee jerk reaction with Kershaw. Your right, it's just one bad outing. But I will have my eye on him………

  37. Roger Dodger says:

    Sorry Mark, I see you on a box, finger raised and pointed, talking in a very loud voice — 11 posts on this. Bold print.

    Using words like: that crazy, you guys, check out the big picture, for what, don't lose it over one game!.

    I just checked, your words jumped off my computer, went out the window, and killed seven misquotoes outside. They are dead. Did not have a chance. Wow, seven with one yell.

  38. Mark_Timmons says:

    Badger,

    I would not advocate this with a lot of players. Lindblom, Elbert, McDonald, et al.

    Kershaw is different!

    Come on. He's struggling and he's at 4.50.

    Dang, no one esle would get sent to AA for that!

    You all know that when he breaks out (this year), I am going to ride you so hard…

  39. Mark_Timmons says:

    Roger,

    ERA is supposed to be in caps!

  40. Roger Dodger says:

    OK, I will give you those 3 letters, but please have Patty, take away your dessert for several days, you are getting too much sugar.

    Could it be that his "era" is below 5 because Joe pulls him before it can jump. And, his arm is about to fall off after 85 pitches in 2.3 innings. Now it is not the 85 total pitches, it is that they come just about all at once. Heck, when any pitcher warms up with their what 9 warm-up pitches, then throws 30 to 35 pitches in inning 1, then in inning 3, etc. That is like 45 pitches each in those two innings alone. That is hard on any arm.

    That 85 pitches with 12, 19, 8, 14, 15, 12, etc. that is not as heavy on the arm.

    I heard that he cannot even turn on the light switch at home after the game the other night, so they are putting in snap-fingers lights, to save his arm from light-turn-arm switches.

    In fact I felt so bad after last night game, that I put some Ben-gay on my left shoulder before I went to bed. The Monty (our dog) went into the other room to sleep . . .

  41. grumpy3b says:

    So, yes, Kershaw's not where we would all love him to be, but the only guy I would bring up for a shot at the rotation would be a total crap shoot and that is Haeger which might just kill poor Martin or put Assmunch in traction. I even wonder if it has been Kershaw's control which has kept Haeger on the farm so far. Or maybe I just miss the Charlie Hough years. :)

    If it were not for the team carrying 13-pitchers for so long this season, the records could be very different…4 less wins is an 8-game swing.

  42. Mark_Timmons says:

    Clayton Kershaw is not Edwin Jackson. Just because something happened to E-JAX, it doesn't mean it will happen to Clayton. The stats you posted reflect how E-Jax should not have been in the majors. Clayton' s stats are not in the same solar system.

    Before yesterday's game, Clayton had a 2.04 ERA in his last 6 starts?

    Yes, he throws too many pitches. He will fix that.

    Minors?

    That's crazy!

    And I still say no GM would send him there.

    What for?

    So he can hav e a 1.99 ERA in his last 6 starts.

    It was a bad game yesterday, Don't lose it over 1 game!

  43. Mark_Timmons says:

    Did you ever listen to E-JAX. He was VERY immature.

    Clayton is green, but he's not immature.

  44. Mark_Timmons says:

    This too shall pass!

    It's one game.

    I'll go a step further – I think every I SAID EVERY, major league team would have him in their rotation RIGHT NOW!

    EVERY TEAM!

    His stuff is too good not to!

    Have you ever seen him pitch more than 5 times up close and personal?

    He is amazing!

  45. Mark_Timmons says:

    Billy,

    1. Clayton has always pitched 4 innings until last night.

    2. Clayton had a 2.04 ERA in his last 6 starts before last night.

    3. Why is it that Either hits .211 in May and he's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and Kershaw has a 7.29 ERA in April, a 2.57 ERA in May, 3.36 in June (including his last start) and he needs to go to the minors. It's absurd!

    4. What am I supposed to say?

    5. Figure what out – he's at 4.50 which is right in the middle of all MLB starters?

    6. Why do we suddenly have to look at the next 2 or 3 starts? If you do that then Martin, Furcal and Ethier should have been in AAA.

    7. You can't treat players like that!

    8. Clayton has a bad game (1st one in 7) and he needs the minors?

  46. grumpy3b says:

    yup…Kershaw has control probs, but if anyone here can remember early Nolan Ryan games, hell, the guy might k's 12 and walk 11. It just happens that way with some pitchers. Kershaw is not going to improve pitching in ABQ. One reason is the altitude is going to frustrate him as his pitches stop moving so much so any control he might seem to gain could very well be an illusion. Just an inch or two less movement on a pitch can mean the difference. ABQ can reduce movement that much all by itself.

    Next, the "ace" Billz, is not exactly thrifty with pitches either. So, the burden on the pen is not all on Kershaw. Wolf is pretty OK on his pitch counts and who knows where Kuroda will be, or how long before the next time he throws a shoe. One thing about Kershaw is he is physically sound. Every 5th day he is out there for his turn. He is not hurting the team at all, he is filling a spot in the rotation, saving the team money over a washed up 5-inning SP veteran who has zero long or near term upside over where Kershaw is today.

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