Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Best Pitcher in Baseball

At age 25, Clayton Kershaw is quietly putting up numbers only a few pitchers ever have.  Among active pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched, Clayton Kershaw is #2 behind Mariano Rivera (2.22 ERA) with a 2.62 ERA.  He is way ahead of any other active pitcher.  All of the following have an ERA over 3.08:

  • Adam Wainwright
  • Felix Hernandez
  • Roy Halliday
  • Cliff Lee
  • Justin Verlander
  • Everyone else

Very few pitchers in the live ball era and in the era since the high mound have had ERA’s below 2.00.  Sandy Koufax had 3 years with ERA’s below 2.00, but that was still in the high mound era and at the end of the dead ball era.  I’m not trying to take anything away from the great Koufax, because it was just a  different time, but right here, right now, Clayton Kerhsaw is the best pitcher in baseball.

The thing is, Sandy’s best years were when he was 27 through 30.

Clayton Kershaw is just 25 years old  – it’s been 25 years since the Dodgers won the World Series.  Coincidence?  I think not!  His best days are ahead of him.  Odds are, that in the next 5-7 years he will have to have TJ (that’s just a fact unless he’s Supreman…. and he may be), but Clayton could pitch another 15 years.  His legend is just being established.

Bill Plaschke of The LA Times today memorializes Kirk Gibson, Mel Didier, Mike Davis, Mitch Poole and the 1988 Dodgers.

Dodger Rants & Raves

  • These have to be Destiny’s Dodgers when Juan Freaking Uribe is hitting .275!
  • Has the league figured out Puig?  He was 2-4 last night and is still hitting .364.  If they have figured him out, he’s awesome!
  • Brandon League is lights’ out… Who knew?
  • Mark Ellis is still outhitting Chase Utley .281 to .279.
  • I would not be surprised if Paco Rodriguez was sent to AAA, but kept with the team for two weeks tomorrow when Brian Wilson is activated.  I think he could use a rest and he has options.  He is pitching great, but two weeks of rest could keep him fresh.  I guess the same could be said of Withrow.  That said, if any player is nicked up a little, they could go to the DL to make room for the Beach Boy.
  • The Dodgers remain 4th in team BA and 3rd in team ERA.
  • Ross Stripling has officially established himself (in my opinion) as the Dodgers #1 pitching prospect.  He pitched 6 innings of 1 hit ball last night with 0 runs.  I would think we will see him in September.  Maybe the AFL?
  • It would be a nice story if Aaron Miller makes the bigs as a hitter.  He’s learning…

Kick-Off-to-School

About Mark Timmons

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

36 Responses to “The Best Pitcher in Baseball”

  1. Watford Dodger says:

    Mark as usual I agree with some and disagree with some.
    I take it the Branden League comment was tongue in cheek. I wouldn’t trust him with anything other than a 5 run lead and Donnie obviously thinks the same as was shown 2 nights ago.
    I also agree about Paco and a number of posters on here have obviously seen the same as me – that he could do with a break. His numbers don’t show it I know but he’s lost a bit of spark. We can bring him back by the end of the season.
    You speak about Uribe but one thing I’ve noticed is not only is he playing well but he seems to be about the most popular teamate on the team. All the others seem to love him and whenever you see a shot of the dugout he is right there in the centre of things having a laugh. I’m really pleased for him.
    I would bring Wilson up Asap and let him get comfortable for the post season in his new surroundings & clubhouse. He will be a valuable asset. Keep Withrow as he can pitch multiple innings.

  2. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This is just a guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 16 year old Julio Urias becomes our #1 pitching prospect, even though he’s several years away.

    Recently read this in Baseball America:

    “Scouts who watched Scott Griggs close games for UCLA in 2012 came away thinking he looked like a big leaguer when he had his control going, and he’s made similar impressions in his first full pro season at low Class A Great Lakes. The power-armed righthander led Midwest League relievers in both opponent average (.169) and strikeout rate (14.6 per nine innings) on his way to winning the Best Reliever category, but control remained an issue as he walked 33 through his 46 innings.”

    By the way, Griggs was rated by Baseball America as our #18 prospect in their 2013 Prospect Handbook. They started their comments about him with these words: “Griggs has frustrated scouts with electric stuff but poor command.”

    Maybe not our #1 pitching prospect, but probably another name for us to keep track of.

    “These have to be Destiny’s Dodgers when Juan Freaking Uribe is hitting .275!”

    On that I have to agree with you. I keep thinking that the old Uribe will show up any day, and he keeps on surprising me. No doubt his glove is made of pure gold, and that’s not unimportant. Don’t know what his future is with the Dodgers, but for the time being I can’t complain. Juan, all I ask is that you just keep showing patience at the plate and keep on hitting the ball where it’s pitched. Just keep making me look stupid, and I’ll be a happy camper.

  3. Bball says:

    I’ve always stuck up for Uribe so it’s good to see positive comments about him in here. Ill add this about Uribe, don’t forget what he did for the giants in 2010. He has experience in the post season and has come up huge in it. He could be a real key come October.

  4. Bball says:

    Anyone know an update on kemp?

  5. Mark_Timmons says:

    Kemp is on the DL.

  6. Mark_Timmons says:

    ;) He\’s running at 75%

  7. Mark_Timmons says:

    Brooklyn,

    Urias has a lot of upside, but I rank them as to who is most MLB ready. Stripling is close – very close.

    Uria will be the #1 soon!

  8. Badger says:

    Technically, by the book, Hamels move to first was a balk. You must step directly to first and didn’t. His foot clearly moved toward home – at least a full foot. That move is one that is just not called anymore. It USED to be, but, there are a lot if USTA’s in baseball.

    I have no doubt our prospect rankings will change. They do every few weeks.

  9. Badger says:

    And a correction to one of Mark’s stats – Utley is out hitting Ellis 130 to 99. That is a large margin.

  10. Bobbie17 says:

    I think Koufax won 5 straight era titles. He retired at 30. To think that Kershaw is about the same age as Harvey. What a first 5 years or so. Impressive, but not Koufax. To be in the conversation, a ring or 2 or 3 or 4, will help. Up here in the Bay Area, there is still a lot of orange and black around. It will take years to get this stuff off the street. A sub-goal this season will be to beat the sh… out of the midgets when the Dodges play them down the stretch.

  11. Badger says:

    Why was Ramirez BEHIND the bag on that Hamels bunt? He was damn lucky the ball got him.

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    Looks like the magic is over.

    Puig has lost the magic. He probably listened to one too many coaches.

    The tank is open and the Dodgers just fell in.

    No one can hit . . . the terrible Phillies have tied the score . . . and the weak hitting Dodgers cannot find the needed moxie to fight back.

    The falling just . . . just . . . WAIT a minute. These guys have to pull this one out . . . Arizona has been playing good ball of late. Time to stop the walk in the valley stuff.

  13. Badger says:

    I don’t know……….Paco looks pretty good to me.

  14. Watford Dodger says:

    Don’t think Donnie will be using League again. Send him down for Wilson immediately.
    We all know he can’t be trusted.

  15. Watford Dodger says:

    That has pissed me off big time. To leave do many players out was risky but to hand League the ball at that point was beyond stupid. Donnie got it wrong tonight.

  16. Bobby says:

    Yes, how horrible of League to give up TWO ERRORS by his shortstop.

    League should be waived immediately because his shortstop committed errors.

  17. Badger says:

    That wasn’t on League. That was on Ramirez.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    What did League do wrong? Oh yeah, he made those two errors.

    Mark, I actually thought of that, which is why I said it was just a guess, and noted that Urias is several years away. Because he was drafted out of college, it’s possible that Chris Anderson could be rated by some as our #1 pitching prospect. In the end, I don’t think it matters, because as Badger noted, the prospect ratings change every few weeks. Besides, in the end all prospects are suspects.

    B17, Koufax did not win 5 straight ERA titles. He had his first good (but not great) year in 1961, and then became absolutely dominant in the period 1962-66. That was five years, but a couple of those seasons were cut short by long term injuries, otherwise he probably would have won 5 straight Cy Young’s, at a time when there was only one such award for both leagues. In 1962 he missed about half the season with a circulatory problem (I believe it was Raynaud’s phenomenon). If I remember correctly, I believe he went out in July, and had 209 strikeouts at the time. It’s possible that had he not had that condition, that he would have struck out 400 or more batters that year. He came back during the playoff series with the midgets at the end of the year, but had nothing. Ball looked the size of a grapefruit coming up to the plate. Then again in 1964 he hurt his elbow (I believe it was in August). Again, my memory (known to be faulty) recalls that he hurt it sliding back into 2B on a pickoff attempt when Walter Alston put him in as a pinch runner. Whatever the case, that elbow injury shelved him for the remainder of the year, and I believe, was the beginning of the elbow problems that led to his retirement after the 1966 season.

    Kershaw is great, but in my mind he’s no Koufax, without a doubt the greatest pitcher I ever saw. As good as Kershaw’s curve is, Koufax’s was better, and Koufax threw harder. And once he figured out the control thing, Koufax’s control was impeccable. And to top it off, Koufax pitched in a 4-man rotation, and pitched over 300 innings per year.

    • Badger says:

      All the reasons why Kershaw can’t possibly match Koufax’s personal numbers.

      But he can win Cy Young’s and World Series MVP’s.

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Donnie got it right tonight. The Dodgers went into this game with an 8.5 game lead, and have to travel tonight to Miami, and after a four game series there, have to fly back to LA Thursday night to open 3 game series against the Red Sox on Friday night. And that’s followed by a 3 game series against the Cubs. All of this without a day off. The next scheduled day off is August 29th.

    Part of the advantage of having a sizable lead in the standings is the flexibility it gives a manager to rest some players, and keep the team fresh for the remainder of the season. Giving some of the regulars a day off today was perfectly understandable, and probably advisable. And using League today was also perfectly understandable/advisable, since there is no need at this time to further tax the bullpen. And as I, and others have noted, blaming the loss on Donnie’s decision to use League is pretty ludicrous (that’s my word, not the others), unless you think that League is a magician, and was simultaneously pitching and playing shortstop.

  20. Watford Dodger says:

    I knew we’d lose when he threw him the ball. The players are not stupid they don’t trust him either and feel the pressure. Your right of course – Hanley made the errors but he would have had a different mindset with someone he trusts on the hill.

  21. Watford Dodger says:

    You love reading quotes so look at what Donnie said after not using him 2 nights ago when he already had him warmed up. He doesn’t trust him. Neither to the other players. Why not leave Paco in. He’s pitching well.

  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I was too soft when I said “ludicrous”. Now League is responsible for the errors of other players. If Hanley CHOKED because League was pitching, then Hanley does not belong in the big leagues. He needs to be shipped out right now. There are a few not so flattering words dancing around in my head, but I’ll just ignore them, and simply say that blaming the decision to bring in League for Hanley’s errors is ridiculous, to say the least.

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This from Tony Jackson’s post on Dodgerscribe.com.

    “Ramirez’s two errors in the ninth inning were the reason the Phillies scored an unearned run off Brandon League to win the game. But there are a lot of reasons the Dodgers lost the game, starting with the fact they didn’t get a man past first base after the top of the fourth.

    Oh well. Not exactly time to panic, I don’t think.”

    And might I add that this loss could also be laid at the door of Yasiel Puig. His getting picked off potentially cost the Dodgers a run, and his throw to third that allowed the trail runner to reach 2B definitely led to a Phillie run. But really, who am I kidding. Those mistakes were caused by League, since Puig knew that League was going to come into the game later, and his anxiety about that led to those mistakes.

  24. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mattingly didn’t use League on Friday, because he saw a victory right in front of him, and save situation or not, he wasn’t going to use anyone other than his closer to nail down the victory.

    Today’s game was tied. There was no way Mattingly knew how many innings the game would go, and was therefore not about to lay his bullpen to waste in a game that could have dragged on, and on, and on. And why didn’t he leave Paco in? All one has to do is look at Rodriguez’s workload recently, and for the entire year. Mattingly is managing for the remainder of this season. Any manager worth his salt is not going to stress out his players in order to get a single win, especially when that win is not imminently critical, and he’s got so many more future wins to think about.

  25. Badger says:

    Hey, stuff happens. Bounces have been going our way for a while now. Lets not over analyze this. Ramirez is not a great defensive player. Hairston is not a first baseman. We didn’t hit. There will be games like this. Put it in the rest view and score 8 tomorrow.

  26. Bobby says:

    Maybe the worst argument I’ve ever read on this board.

    Hanley felt more pressure to field 2 routine ground balls with League on the mound than he would have if Paco or Kenley were on the mound. Interesting.

    If our players are that pathetically weak mentally, then I think we all need to go root for another team.

    Winning streak and historic run aside, whenever you go on the road to play a struggling team, you want to win the series. You want to take 2 of 3. And we did that. It was a very successful trip to Philly because we won the series. Now, let’s go take 3 of 4 AT Miami, another struggling team. (unless, of course, our players feel extra pressure, perhaps because all of the hot girls at South Beach just 5 miles away)

  27. Quasimodo says:

    There’s another reason Dodgers lost today. Because today is Aug 18. Some can probably figure why Aug 18 is such a bad day for me. But Aug 18 ends before Aug 19.

  28. Roger Dodger says:

    As the King said to Mozart — “Too many notes . . .” The piece of music Mozart played for the King, went on and on . . . “Too many notes.”

    Today’s game — “The Dodgers on the field got “not enough hits and runs.” Just not enough.

    It was the “B” squad and Puig just is out pitched these day. Why his average is almost .350 now.

    Maybe the next game.

  29. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Nice to see reason prevail. Most of us recognize that the Dodgers can’t go on winning at the pace they set over the past 50 games, and most of us are not so spoiled that we can’t accept some losses, and recognize that the ball is not always going to bounce our way. Hey, we’ll probably lose two in a row at some point. Maybe even three. Sure, we can look back and see all the missed opportunities we had in this game. But if we do, then we have to be honest and look back and see that winning as many one run games consecutively as we have recently, means that our opponents also had a bunch of missed opportunities.

    Let’s just hope that health prevails going forward, and that we finally get the team on the field that we expected at the beginning of the season. And remember, we’ve have contributions from unexpected sources like Puig, Withrow, etc. And I don’t know what it will be, but I expect that we will be adding some reinforcements between now and the end of August, which is just a little under two weeks away.

  30. troyfromwv says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2x_LDFtlZw

    That bluebearded picture came in handy.

  31. Watford Dodger says:

    League didn’t get anyone out again & got hit hard again. My argument about Hanley feeling pressure was poor. Think it was me feeling the pressure. Too soon after the event I think. Was disappointed to lose this won as I felt it was there for the taking – just venting. Reminded me of some early season loses. Just had that sinking feeling when he came out to pitch & it clouded my judgement a bit when we lost.

    • Badger says:

      All that us true – except for maybe League getting hit hard again. He gave up a hit, but made enough good pitches to get out of the inning. That was just one hard luck outing. Hanley knows his part in that loss. So does Puig. And frankly do do the rest if the Dodgers. They didn’t hit. Hamels pitched well. Put it behind us and tee it up again today.

  32. Badger says:

    Dang smart phones. They do do this to me way do often.

  33. Badger says:

    Oh… and Troy is back. Keep the videos coming my man. They are a hoot.

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