Categorized | Mark Timmons

This is Clayton Freaking Kershaw’s Team

Some of you have heard this story, but in the Summer of 2007, I wanted to see this young 19 year-old Kershaw kid pitch.  I had seen him on video and read all about him, but seeing a player in person  is so much more telling to me.  So, I met Rodger Dodger and Voldomar in Chicago and we traveled to Beloit, Wisconsin to see young Clayton.  If was a noon game and the park was nowhere near full.  There were old ladies and kids on field trips and a few businessmen, but there were lots of people disguised as empty seats.  So, we went down and sat in the scout area, right behind home plate.  Roger and I sat next to a long time Cubs scout who was polite, but busy pouring over papers and reports, occasionally peering over his reading glasses to look at the players.

The Great Lakes Loons batted in the first inning and then the Loons took the field.  At that time, young Clayton took the mound to warm up.  I think it was during the second pitch that the crusty old scout put down his papers, took off his glasses and said “Who is that?”  Even at 19, it didn’t take long to realize that Clayton Kershaw was something special.  As I sat behind the plate and watched his delivery, chills went down my spine as I flashed back to (GASP) Sandy Koufax.

Fast forward to 2012:  Clayton Kershaw is the reigning Cy Young Award Winner and while he probably won’t win it this year – he should.  Consider this:

  • He is 13-9, but the pen has blown at least 5 games for him
  • He is leading the NL with a 2.58 ERA
  • He is second in strikeouts at 221 (1 behind the leader, RA Dickey)
  • He has the lowest WHIP at 1.03
  • He is second in innings pitched and he is pitching with a bad hip
  • Since the All-Star Game he has a 2.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP

There is no choke in this guy! 

Who is a better Cy Young Candidate?  Look at all of the pitchers in the NL and it’s hard to argue they deserve it more than Clayton.  If he puts up another spectacular game in his last start, like he did last night, and you don’t give him the Cy Young, you are going to have to say that ERA, WHIP and Strikeouts are less important that wins.  Gio Gonzalez is the only one close, in that the league is hitting .206 against him, while the league is hitting .213 against Clayton, but Clayton has more strikeouts, a much better ERA and pitches deeper into games.

As much as Matt Kemp is said to be the leader of this team, it is Clayton Kershaw who day-in-and-day-out never waivers.

If any GM in baseball could have any one pitcher they wanted, it would be a landslide in favor of Clayton, and he’s only  24 years old!


About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

36 Responses to “This is Clayton Freaking Kershaw’s Team”

  1. Badger says:

    Good piece. Important point.

    The statheads will never give in on the wins issue. But you won’t see a Cy Young winner based solely on stats either. It’s my opinion that it should be based only on stats. The same argument could be made for the MVP too, but this is a league, within a society, that is based on “winning”. Even the drug addled unglued dipsomaniac Charlie Sheen knows that.

    I doubt Kershaw wins the Cy Young. There are a handful of really good pitchers in the NL, and if you believe the predictors, Kershaw is down the list.

    But, I am certainly happy we have this guy to anchor our rotation. And, I hope to add a couple of guns to the holster this off season. He needs some help.

  2. Roger Dodger says:

    Cy Young award is a very emotional discussion.

    I have a friend, life time Reds fan. He thinks Johnny Cueto should win. And my friend still is made that Tony did not pick him for the All-Star team.

    Giant fans want Matt Cain. No-hitter and all.

    Many baseball fans love R.A. Dickey because of his pitch and winning on a bad Mets team.

    Gio Gonzales probably made a really big difference for the Nationals winning so early and he is solid.

    Several relievers will get votes: Chapman, Kimbrel.

    The Cardinals will holler that their Kohse only lost 3 games and made their difference in being in the post-season (they hope).

    Hammels is out because he simply had a Hammels year and the Phillies are not winning.

    Bum is not going to win with only 16 wins and a higher ERA, but he did make a difference for the Giants.

    Mark is right —- if the Dodgers had won some of those games he was winning when he turned it over to the bullpen, he would have more wins and be in a better position.

    But as Vin might say, “Dickey is having a great season, and Clayton is on his way to the Hall of Fame.”

  3. Ken says:

    I prefer my ACE Meter as a predictor of the CY Young Award winner much more than the ESPN CY Young predictor.

    My ranking of the 8 starters in the ESPN list

    Dickey 2.34
    Kershaw 2.39
    Cain 2.47
    Hamels 2.71
    Lohse 2.76
    Cueto 2.81
    Bumgarner 2.94
    Gonzalez 2.96

  4. Bobby says:

    Kersh likely won’t win the Cy Young, but he’s clearly emerging as the best pitcher in baseball.

    And when you’re considered the best pitcher in baseball, AND you’re only 24, the Hall of Fame is just waiting.

    In about 5-6 years, as his numbers start adding up, we’ll start looking at him historically.

    For now, GO NATS today!!!

  5. Bobbie17 says:

    On a team with a bunch of erratic, undependable players, Kershaw certainly stands out. It would be nice to see him pitch in a real pennant race and playoffs. It’s safe to say, he is a star. Let’s hope his health holds up. It’s nice to talk about something actually good for a change.

    • Badger says:

      We are talking about good things around here all the time. Well, some of us are. We got new owners (great thing) we got rid of Loney and replaced him with Adrian Gonzalez (very good thing) we got Hanley Ramirez (very good thing) Cruz is fun to talk about, Shane Victorino is an upgrade, kind of, Carl Crawford is a Dodger (very good potential) we added some arms and we are still in the hunt for a play-off spot. Being a Dodger fan is much more fun, and relevant, than it has been for a while.

      Half full or half empty?

      • Glass Is Half Full says:

        Half full of course!!!!!

      • Mark_Timmons says:

        I think the glass COULD BE 75% full, but I am not oblivious to issues that could drain that glass very quickly.

        1. Gonzo is a good thing regardless of how you spin it;

        2. Hanley has to potential to be a MVP or a cancer;

        3. Is this Cruz’ career year?

        4. Victorino could be in decline…

        5. Crawford is a HUGE risk. He could be very good or a bust.

        I am excited, but not unaware…

  6. DodgerDude says:

    If any GM in the league had Clayton Kershaw would they trade him for Cueto, Dickey or Gonzalez?

    I think not.

  7. Roger Dodger says:

    Gee, with all of this to think about — just realize what Cub, Padre, Seattle, KC fans are going through — and they do not have ownership funds to work with.

  8. Bball says:

    St Louis down 4-0. It may be the beer I’m drinking but something has me very excited about the rest of this year. I think we can do this. I have faith. Who’s with me

  9. Gionfriddo says:

    Good stuff, Mark. I have to agree Kershaw is the NL Cy Young yet again but I don’t get a vote. I would go Gonzalez over Dickey but I think the writers will go Dickey due to his great year & story and the ordeals he has overcome (which is good to bring to the forefront in society)..

    This team is indeed Kershaws team, I agree. But, if Clayton’s the heartbeat, then Kemp is the pulse..From April of ’11 up to May of this year Kemp was the best player in all of MLB.. No telling what happens if the hammy problems don’t crop up–probably a stat line of .310, 35, 115, 25 bags.. It’s GREAT to have the 2 of them in their prime…

    Yes, Crawford is a huge risk with that ungodly contract (20 mill per thru ’17).. However, if he comes back 100% look out because he is a special player. I was in Boston the 1st week of August and watched 2 BoSox games and Crawford was 4-10 with 2 HR’s in those 2 games.. He also had a double which would have been a single for 90% of the players in the game.. hit a ball to the left of the CF and he simply out ran the throw to 2B.. The talk of “he’s fat” I don’t get because I saw with my own two eyes how the man can still motor (remember there is NOTHING wrong with his wheels–hopefully his wrist will heal)..

    Nats still up 4-0 in the 5th due to Morse’s slam– GO NATS!!

    Go Blue

  10. Ken says:

    “This team is indeed Kershaws team, I agree. But, if Clayton’s the heartbeat, then Kemp is the pulse”

    Very creative thought. It is very hard to disagree with great thoughts!

    Crawford is currently fat and out of shape but he has enough time between now and February 20th to work out and return to being the body that he was years ago.

  11. Ken says:

    If the dodgers make the playoffs in 2012, then the dodger owners should purchase a Peugeot 208 for Donnie T-Ball :)

  12. Bball says:

    Looking back to the game against the padres. Someone mentioned Matt didn’t look hurt then. Now with this monster home run I agree. So either he got well in a hurry or like mark has said. He choked. Matt its great to see u playing well but where we’re u when we needed you. A little disappointing I have to say. I still think ur great though. Don’t take this wronge

  13. Ken says:

    dodger starting pitching Last 7 games

    Blanton 0.00
    Harang 0.00
    Kershaw 0.69 (2 games)
    Beckett 1.59
    Capuano 1.69
    Fife 3.60

    Pretty Good!

  14. Rob says:

    Just keep winning and we will see where we are at when the dust settles.

  15. Badger says:

    Where is everybody?

    Only post when the team sucks?

    Come on, join the pennant race. It’s kinda cool.

    Half full. Always, half full.

  16. voldomer says:

    I came across photos from that trip just a few days ago. I remember us talking about Preston Mattingly, Carlos Santana, and Josh Bell at the time, but I see now that Trayvon Robinson, Elian Herrera, Kenley Jansen, Josh Wall, and Scott Van Slyke were also on the team at some points that season.


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