Categorized | Mark Timmons

Kershaw vs. Koufax and Ryu too

Wow, I was evidently branded as a heretic by some of the old-timers on this board who questioned my sanity for saying that Clayton Kershaw would become the greatest Dodgers pitcher of all time and questioning whether Ryu was a #3.

Let’s address the Kershaw-Koufax comparison.  Let me start by asking you if you all think Barry Bonds or Mark MaGwire should have an asterisk by their names for what was obvious steroid-enhanced power?  Of course, there has to be some consideration taken for that.  Read what Wikipedia says about the pitchers mound in baseball:

In Major League Baseball, a regulation mound is 18 feet (5.5 m) in diameter, with the center 59 feet (18.0 m) from the rear point of home plate, on the line between home plate and second base. The front edge of the pitcher’s plate or rubber is 18 inches (45.7 cm) behind the center of the mound, making the front edge’s midpoint 60 feet 6 inches (18.4 m) from the rear point of home plate. Six inches (15.2 cm) in front of the pitcher’s rubber the mound begins to slope downward. The top of the rubber is to be no higher than ten inches (25.4 cm) above home plate. From 1903 through 1968, this height limit was set at 15 inches, but was often slightly higher, sometimes as high as 20 inches (50.8 cm), especially for teams that emphasized pitching, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were reputed to have the highest mound in the majors.

A pitcher will push off the rubber with his foot in order to gain velocity toward home plate when pitching. In addition, a higher mound generally favors the pitcher. With the height advantage, the pitcher gains more leverage and can put more downward velocity on the ball, making it more difficult for the batter to strike the ball squarely with the bat. The lowering of the mound in 1969 was intended to “increase the batting” once again, as pitching had become increasingly dominant, reaching its peak the prior year; 1968 is known among baseball historians as “The Year of the Pitcher”. This restrictive rule apparently did its job, contributing to the hitting surge of modern baseball.

So, in some respects, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax were  kind of “on steroids” when compared to today’s pitchers, especially when they pitched on the Dodger Stadium mound.  For the record, I saw Sandy Koufax pitch many times, both on TV and in person.  I was born in 1953.   I knew he was something special.  From 1963 to 1966 he put up numbers that will likely never be duplicated, but it was enhanced by the 15 inch mound  and especially the 18-20 inch mound at Dodger Stadium where he pitched half his games.  There was no bigger disparity than in 1965 when he allowed hitters to hit .205 on the road (pretty good), but only allowed them to hit .152 at Dodger Stadium.  He gave up 58 runs on the road, but only 30 in Dodger Stadium.

Sandy Koufax was great, and he didn’t cheat – but the Dodgers did, and he also benefited from a mound that was 33% taller in most parks and 50% taller in Dodgers Stadium.  We all know that Bonds and McGwire wouldn’t have hit all these HR without juice.  Sandy’s juice was the mound.  We will never fully know the effect the mound had, but I guarantee that if Clayton could pitch off a 20 inch mound, he would do remarkably better.  That was the “dead ball” era as well.  For God’s sakes, in 1965, Zolio Versalles won the AL MVP when he hit .273 with a .319 OB%, 19 HR and 77 RBI!

I still believe that (barring injury) Clayton Kershaw will end up with nearly 300 wins and with only 165 wins, Sandy will relinquish his spot as the top Dodger pitcher.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

On Ryu:  I said this:

 It also leaves the Dodgers without a true #3.  Sure Ryu has filled that spot and I will admit that maybe he can be a #3, but I think the Dodgers are currently without a #3 and with their woeful offense, they could really use a #3 starter.

Ryu has all of 8 games experience in the MLB!  8 games!  I said that he COULD be a #3, but to proclaim him that now is delusional.  Kershaw and Greinke are pitcher you don’t want to face, but lets see how Ryu does his second or third time around the league – that will tell the tale.  If he keeps up his current pace, then yes, he’s a number three.  We all know the odds are against it, however we can hope for it!

That all!!

  • Look for Ted Lilly to take Matt Magills’ place this weekend.
  • Yesterday, Ross Stripling pitched 6 innings, allowed 8 hits, walked none and struck out 7.  His ERA at AA is now 2.25!
  • Alex Castellanos is back off the DL.
  • Cruz and Hernandez both have to go!


About Mark Timmons

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

50 Responses to “Kershaw vs. Koufax and Ryu too”

  1. Badger says:

    Good for you! You did some research. I respect that.

    Having been an umpire for a few years I can say I read the rule book inside out. I loved the study. Many of the rules have been… altered a bit over the years – especially the strike zone.

    What you say about the mound is true, but I ask you, there were great pitchers of that era on mounds in their home park that were only an inch or so lower than Dodger Stadium. Those great pitchers, many of whom you and I both saw in person, came to Dodger Stadium and none of them ever came close to doing what Sandy Koufax did. I just looked at his splits and there is not that much difference between home a road. There is some, but, isn’t that to be expected?

    If you want to compare the two I have no problem with that. But if you want to continue to say Kershaw will go down as the best Dodger pitcher of all time you are setting yourself up to be skewered.

    7× All-Star (1961, 1961², 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966)
    4× World Series champion (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965)
    3× Cy Young Award (1963, 1965, 1966)
    NL MVP (1963)
    2× World Series MVP (1963, 1965)
    2× Babe Ruth Award (1963, 1965)
    3× Triple Crown (1963, 1965, 1966)
    Hutch Award (1966)

    Pitched four no-hitters

    Pitched a perfect game on September 9, 1965.

    No hitters, perfect games, 3 Cy Young’s in 4 years, World Series victories, World Series Championships, 397 games pitched, .655 winning %, 2.76 career ERA, 3 25 win seasons, strike out records, complete games, shutouts…… all as a Dodger and all of this by the age of 30. And you really believe Kershaw can match all that?

    Good luck.

  2. HemmorhoidRage says:

    Who cares? What the hell difference does it make? It’s not even an interesting conversation. Badger, remove the stick from your ass, really, you old rabid varmint. You are getting rather stale and boring. Hint, you aren’t the authority on everything, like you think you are. Since you are a bumpersticker kind of politico, let me put to you this way, “END NARCISSISM NOW!”

    • Badger says:

      I could ask the same thing of you rectal boy. There is nothing original about you now. Even your name was given to you by me.

      The title of the post today is Kershaw vs. Koufax. You want to address that, or continue your boring attacks on me? I would think the rest of this board is tired of your bullshit.

  3. Roger Dodger says:

    “Pederson or Puig will likely be traded” . . . ended the last thread.

    If the Dodgers try to fix this year’s team at 3B or 2B or another elite starting pitcher or closer — and trade both of those guys . . . it better be jaw dropping who the Dodgers get in return.

    I did not study all of the Dodger minor league outfielders — but after those two guys, not much in the form of prospects on on the list.

    Maybe the next several days will tell the tale: Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Angels, Rockies — 16 games there — and the team should know if they have a chance. Also, who is healthy and who is not.

    • Badger says:

      Yeah, that was in reference to the “no room for them” point made by Ken. If Crawford sticks around, and Puig is all that, then there is no room for Pederson. Now would be the time to think about that 3rd base problem and Texas might be the trade partner. Heck, maybe they would be willing to send Beltre back. More likely Olt since he is currently struggling at AAA. Oakland seems to like dealing with us, maybe we can work out a deal with them for Josh Donaldson. Gotta be somebody out there that could help us.

  4. HemmorhoidRage says:

    Tuba boy, END NARCISSISM NOW! You are out of step and you are irrelevant, I give you relevance.

    Here’s the funny thing, I know that your narcissism as been an ongoing criticism of you your entire life, and you know it. Deal with it Tuba Boy!

  5. Quasimodo says:

    I for one have to admit Mark and Badger both provided some interesting words to read. Its baseball and the reason I’m here this morning. I’d have no problem if Kershaw could go down as the greatest Dodger pitcher of all time….but he’s got a tall mountain to climb before taking that crown. If saying Drysdale was on steroids (in a sense) with the mound advantage then it could be argued that he was the greatest Dodger pitcher of all times as he also was a .300 hitter at that park facing pitchers with the mound advantage. Drysdale had 27 (if memory serves) career HR’s. I’m not going to look up how many of those HR’s were hit at Dodger stadium because all that matters to me is these greats were all Dodgers. About Ryu, 8 games can tell a lot, even the games Ryu didn’t play we were shown him taking notes with the others performances. I’m sold he’s a solid #3. Badger, I can guess you’ve seen a lot in your life that argues with ‘Karma’. For me my biggest argument about ‘Karma’ is having a daughter, 10 days before her 8th birthday, her 11 year old sister and their mother all killed in a car wreck because a Methodist preacher fell asleep, crossed a double yellow and hit them head-on. Perhaps I’m deserving of the fallowing pain, but they did nothing deserving their lives be taken. Please no retort-I’ve heard it all. All I can say is I’m unable to view things through anybody else’s lens. Rage, c’mon man, why always try picking a fight?…….Sorry all for getting away from baseball. Peace.

  6. Mark_Timmons says:


    I had a daughter taken from me that I was re-united with 26 years later and I had a wife die when my son was nine, but until one has walked in your shoes, they cannot understand how you feel.

    That’s not Karma and has nothing to do with something you did or didn’t do. It’s just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I can’t feel your pain and I’m sure it never goes away… your choice is to chose to move on the best you can.

    I can tell you I have been through the darkness and I survived and never have a bad day anymore.


  7. Quasimodo says:

    Thanks Mark, that’s probably the most understanding words I’ve heard. Most others seem to have some sort of an answer and I don’t blame them for having whatever form of faith they have. Faith is a good thing and gives great results having faith. Wish I had some.

    • Quasimodo says:

      BTW Mark, tears dropped with your words. And I think I needed that. Its been awhile since I let that happen.

      • Badger says:

        I will take the risk of being blown up again because this topic is worth the discussion.

        I can say nothing about how it must feel to go through something like you did Quas. I never lost what you have lost.

        But I can speak to what it was that sent me in search of meaning. As a 19 year old Marine I was involved in more mayhem than I can really talk about here, but the event that changed me was the day I had to pick up the bodies of women and children in a village in which I had called in the air strike. I was changed forever and when I got home I was a mess. I found my answers in an ancient belief system taught by the mystics. All of them, even Jesus, taught the same thing.

        I would ask you, do you believe that human beings have a soul, a spirit? If not, then nothing I can say would have any meaning to you. If you do believe in spirit, the question then becomes – where does it come from and where does it go? The teachings of reincarnation and karma put my Vietnam experience into proper perspective for me. Without those answers, I would likely not be here today.

        I am so sorry for what you have had to go through. I can tell by your input here that you are a good man. I trust eventually you will find any answers for which you may be searching. There is a reason for everything. Of that I am certain.

  8. Bobbie17 says:

    The biggest problem with the Koufax-Kershaw debate is that Kershaw is not done yet. When his career is over, comparisons can be made. Right now, it’s not close-Koufax by a Brooklyn-LA mile. I don’t see the domination in Kershaw that Koufax had. Kershaw has never pitched in a really big game because his team sucks. He may never pitch in a World Series, the way this team is going. If his career is over with no rings, it will not even be a discussion. That isn’t Kershaw’s fault, but that is the way it is. I think Ryu is a legit #3. It may not last, but right now, he could pitch #3 for most teams. He might turn out to be one of the few good discoveries this hopeless group has, or will, find.

  9. Quasimodo says:

    Bobbie 17, Koufax also pitched on a Dodger team that sucked. Drysdale, not present at the time Koufax pitched one of his no-hitters, was informed that news, Drysdale’s response was “did Dodgers win?”

  10. Bobby says:

    B 17 is right. Who cares. Let’s table this discussion until 2020, when Kersh is 32, and we can see what he’s done. He’s had 3 Cy Young quality seasons and before that he was growing into ace role.

    This sounds like one old guy saying Magic is the greatest Laker, and one younger guy saying Kobe is greatest Laker. You’re both right. So who cares. They both have 5 rings. Hopefully Kersh can get a couple rings to get into Koufax’ discussion.

    IF we do trade Pederson or Puig, YES, we better get a big time prospect or young MLB player in return. Ned better not find us some used Casey Blake type again!

  11. HemmorhoidRage says:

    Wishing ill on someone is a class move, way to go Varmint! Talk about karma, wow, beware my rodent friend.

    • Badger says:

      I did not wish you any ill will. I merely pointed out that you reap what you sow. Actions have consequence. Lately all you offer here is your hatred. That will eat you up inside. So, keep it up, and, stand by.

  12. LOL says:

    If the current dodger managers misused Kershaw for his first 7 years in MLB you would probably never issue such a statement about Kershaw. If Koufax had only been misused for 2-3 years his Stats would be even more impressive and any discussion comparing the 2 pitchers would currently be ROF laughable. I for one will consider your argument but not before 2017.

    Somebody still can’t read. ROFLOL.

    I hope that the LAD keep 13 pitchers on the active roster until at least June 12th, 24 games in the next 25 days, and do not activate any injured position players until they are completely healed. However, if the inconsistent starting pitchers turn their season around, then the dodgers would then not kill the bullpen with only 12 pitchers. Kershaw 135 pitches? When did Hillman become the head coach? Rest and platoon some of the position players, get the pitching healthy, slowly get back to .500, and make the big push after the All-Star break.

    • Jae says:

      Koufax with the help of the mound was awesome for a short time. Clayton on a shorter mound could be really god for a long time. What wins out – greatness in a flash or being very good for a sustainable period of time?

  13. Reggie says:


    Change your name, change your thinking, change your life or GET THE HELL OFF THIS BOARD!

  14. Quasimodo says:

    Badger, I understand what you are saying and respect you very much and as I said, “faith is a good thing”. I’m just not equipped with the lens to see things that can’t be proven beyond science. Not anymore. I once did though. I could tell that you’ve experienced a haunting past and sure don’t want tell you you are wrong, I simply don’t know either way. Mark said “they were at the wrong place at the wrong time” and that’s also the way I see things. There’s not any good reason for an event as that to happen, I’ve searched and can only get angry when I hear “all things happen for a reason”. There’s where “God did his work 13.7 billion years ago and since then physics took over”. This is me and I’m surely not trying to convince anybody I’m right. And I’m truly sorry that I’ve steered us all to sour grapes. Truly sorry friends.

    • Badger says:

      And I would never try to convince you of anything either Quas. All I asked was, do you believe in spirit? Does the human being have a soul? What’s your take on that?

      Wrong place wrong time? You mean those kids we blew up in ‘nam were just wrong place wrong time? I couldn’t live with that. That is just too arbitrary for my mind to grasp. Life is too precious for me accept that premise. You want science? So did I. Try reading some pieces on the science of the soul. It may or may not make any sense to you. It did to me. It isn’t just faith. You can actually prove it here in the human body. It’s called the Path of the Masters. Some day it might actually make sense to you.

      No need to apologize. You didn’t steer us anywhere that this place isn’t prepared to go. Some care, some don’t. Those that do will participate, those that don’t will ignore the conversation.

  15. the truth hurts says:

    this is better then a soap opera

  16. Gonzo says:

    Then if by logic Koufax had an advantage, so did the other pitchers right? Now if what set him apart was the skill set, the mound 20″ or 0″ Koufax would still be better than the opposing pitcher right?

    When Barry and Mark juiced they were already all stars. So by your theory, Mitch Webster, Charlie Hayes or Royce Clayton if they juiced should have been able to hit monstrous home runs too? The mound the juice it gave all players the same advantage. If the players who you say cheated wouldn’t have would they have similar numbers to there colleagues or better?

  17. Badger says:

    Interesting piece in the Times regarding the Dodgers high tech training staff. Good read if you get the chance.

  18. Quasimodo says:

    Just read that Badger. Did you read the moronic comments under it? Geez! Had to be Giants fans again.

  19. Badger says:

    I read it from Times app so, no, I didn’t read any comments. I can only access a few articles a month on my computer before they start demanding money. That’s irritating. They got advertising all over the place and they still want money to read. So I use the app on my iPhone.

    midget fans can read?

  20. Badger says:

    Jae…. Koufax pitched in 397 games and threw 2324 innings. How long will it take Kershaw to get that accomplished and will he do it in a Dodger uniform?

    Kershaw has already shown some physical ailments with that strained hip thing last year. Maybe he throws for 8 more years (to 35) and maybe not. Today’s pitchers show an alarming fragility, especially the hard throwers.

  21. Rob says:

    Can’t blame Donnie for leaving Paco in against upton. Paco has been one of the most consistent guys out of the pen and that was his first HR he has given up.

  22. Bball says:

    And people were saying y to leaving kershaw in for 132 pitches. Well that’s y. Are bullpen is not what it should be. We have to win those games where we are up. Baseball is crazy. I go from smiles to oh crap in one pitch.

  23. Bball says:

    Matt kemp and Andre either to the mets for Harvey and Murphy. Lets do it. Bring up puig and Pederson and win with pitching.

  24. Rob says:

    Our pen sucks!!

  25. Rob says:

    SVS the one bright spot, two HRs way to go.

  26. Bball says:

    I can’t stand seeing cruz up to bat. Pop up queen. When do they get rid of him. It’s time.

  27. Bball says:

    It must be bad when everyone is hopeing uribe plays. Didn’t think I’d ever say that.

  28. Badger says:

    3 unearned runs?

    Tighten up.

    This remains a weak defensive club.

  29. Roger Dodger says:

    It has all been said . . . another games down the chute.

    Out hit the other team, but not out score them.

    Paco must have hurt his neck when he heard the ball of Justin’s bat.

    Say, just what did not the Dodgers try and trade for Justin???

    Cruz is still on the team. Goes 1 for 4 and his average goes up.

    Van Slyke, a breath of fresh air.

    Falling farther behind.

    Cannot wait till the 9th inning to come back on relievers like that.

  30. LOL says:

    Ryu a number 3? Tonight, maybe in toilet activity numbers. Ryu has lost too much weight. He pitched better when he was fatter. But he still can hit – RISP = .400.

    LAD Fielding – Shart. LAD Fundamentals = Shart. Therefore LAD Coaching = Shart.

    Before the game started the LAD relievers were the only team in MLB with 10 losses. Now 11. Extrapolate = 41 for the year.

    Do the Braves really have to assign a 400+lb women to serve food to the fans in the seats behind their home plate?

    SVS = Super Sub? Yes Mr. Pop-Up is now waiting for Ellis to return to see which minor league destination he will be cruzzin to.

    Gordon still hitting .200. He should stay around for awhile. cf. to Zolo Versailles (AL MVP 1965) BA .196 in 436 PA for the LAD in 1968 with only 28 errors (A good year for him)

    All 5 LAD pitchers, who threw tonight, have ERAs below the LAD team average. Just one of those nights?

  31. the truth hurts says:

    Capuano pitches tomorrow and Magill pitches on Sunday. The pen was exhausted tonight.

    Looks like we are going to get swept.

  32. Watford Dodger says:

    It’s time for a change at the top. Not enough fight in this team. Too many mistakes from too many people. Too many excuses. These are good players early all under performing.
    Why did it take so long to bring up SVS when he’s been in great form all season?
    How can Cruz possibly get the start last night? Why don’t we accept that it’s not working & move on. This form has been going on pretty much since last year’s All Star Break.
    Surely someone upstairs can see it. Is Donnie too nice a guy to sack?
    This team needs a kick up the ass.

  33. Badger says:

    The Braves are a scary bunch when they got it going on. But they can be tamed. They are only hitting .243 as a team, which is 23rd in MLB. But, they’re slugging % is 8th. Don’t make mistakes.

    We have given up 18 unearned runs this season. The dbacks? 4.

    Ryu wasn’t bad. His problem was he didn’t go long enough. 100 pitches to get through 5. 2 earned. I wonder why Donnie didn’t let him throw 132 pitches? Turning the game over to this bullpen is not something any of our starters want to do.

  34. Badger says:

    their slg. %

    edit please

  35. Mark Sweeney says:

    Not good at all. Why exactly did SVS have to stay down in AAA? Outperforming most on the team. Makes me wonder about Puig and others as well.

  36. Roger Dodger says:

    In my local newspapers this morning, A.L. Top Ten, there is Mr. Loney at the top of the batting race.

    Some of us knew he would be doing that some day. So now he has his change. Go James.

    Might not see SVS in the lineup tonight.

    Have noticed in the past — For Donnie — when someone has a good night at the plate, they sit the next day. Maybe thinking they cannot do it or he wants to save some of it for later.

  37. Badger says:

    Loney has had some hot streaks before Roger. In ’07 he hit .385 in the first half. In ’08 he hit .362 in June. In ’11 he hit .367 in August. He’ll come back to the pack. But, in the mean time, good for James.

    Some guy over there ————–> is saying Dodgers should give Zach Lee a start. Why not? Who knows, he might be able to go 6. His arm is young and strong so Donnie might let him complete the game and throw 150 pitches.

  38. grumpy3b says:

    nawww, Junts fan kinnaw read but they can mash keys with their Homer Simpson “Dialin’ Stick”.

  39. Kris says:

    Badger & Others,

    Check this article… for a way around the problem. Pay particular attention to the 3rd comment down.

    I grew up with the Times but it’s been largely ruined by the carpetbaggers from Chicago.


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