Categorized | Mark Timmons

Clayton Kershaw is the Best Pitcher in Baseball

… and if any baseball writer doesn’t have him listed #1 on his Cy Young ballot, a complete investigation should be done on that writer and Credentials should be revoked!

We have never see a pitcher like this and don’t even breathe “Sandy Koufax.”  We have never seen Clayton at 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30, but that’s when Sandy was at his best.  At age 25, Sandy had his first pretty good year, going 18-8 with a 3.52 ERA.  At then end of the season in which he was 25, he had accumulated 54 wins and had an ERA around 4.00.  Clayton Kershaw has accumulated 77 wins and has a career 2.60 ERA after being the first Dodger pitcher to have a sub 2.00 ERA since Koufax did it three of his last four seasons.  His first sub 2.00 ERA was when he was 27.

Of course, Clayton also doesn’t have the luxury of pitching off a 20″ mound either.  There is no argument about this:  Clayton Kershaw is a better pitcher at age 25 than Sandy Koufax was at age 25 and then Sandy got better.  There’s no reason to believe Clayton won’t do the same, because he has evolved every year.  He has more pitches than Sandy.  Koufax may have had a better fastball and curve (the taller mound really helps the curve), but Clayton now has developed a slider and change-up that are major-league and likely will get better.

Its scary to think how good this guy can be and he’s a Dodger!  My lefty 14- year-old son has a Clayton Kershaw autographed baseball and I’m sure he will get this picture autographed  by Clayton in due time.

Here’s the parting shot – Clayton will win his second Cy Young at age 25.  I could argue that there’s no way “Flash-in-the-pan” RA Dickey should have won last year, but it is what it is.  Sandy won his first CY Young at age 27.  We may never see a pitcher pitch better than Sandy his last four years, when he won three Cy Young’s, but since Clayton is just reaching the age when Sandy became his most successful, I am inclined to believe “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Clayton is ready to forge his legacy next in the playoffs.  Watch him turn the Cardinals into turkeys!

fall-sale-ends

About Mark Timmons

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

41 Responses to “Clayton Kershaw is the Best Pitcher in Baseball”

  1. Badger says:

    Again?

    All arguments on this have been issued and re-issued. You can continue this if you wish. I will compare all numbers in 5 years, if Kershaw is even still pitching with the Dodgers after age 30. In the mean time I too am happy he is with us.

  2. Badger says:

    More importantly – Puig day to day? Did I read that right? Wahapin?

  3. Bobbie17 says:

    The Colorado manager talked about Kershaw’s deception. I never thought of that aspect of his pitching, but the unorthodox motion gives him an extra advantage. Can’t deny his pitching this year. Can he be “Koufax” in the playoffs? Let’s wait and see.

  4. Quasimodo says:

    Badger, I’m certain you’ve already found out by now that Puig fouled into his lower left leg. Well, hmmmm, its too bad that Sandy isn’t pitching in this day and age – I think he’d like the money. This conversation is kinda like saying that Ali was better than Marciano and you can plug in an endless supply of stats and fight em on a computer but the results will ALWAYS end as still debatable. We hear things like Babe Ruth couldn’t play in today’s MLB, which I think is a pure stupid thing to say, but that’s only my opinion and it won’t change. As much as I’d love to see my opinion proven and that Ruth would even be a star in today’s game, it can’t happen. We are, in fact, seeing history in the making and both Koufax and Kershaw are honored with the comparisons.

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Agree with Badger’s first post above. But I’ll issue my argument anyway.

    It’s a shame that Koufax didn’t have the luxury of pitching in the minor leagues, where he could have learned his craft. But after he got command he reached a level that Kershaw will NEVER reach.

    And while Kershaw may get better, he will not make the same leap that Koufax did, from a pitcher with no command to one with impeccable command. Kershaw already has good command, so whatever improvements there are to make will likely be more incremental. I’m sure Kershaw still has work to do on his changeup, and probably can even make some improvements in his command, and some subtle changes in any number of things. And as mature as he seems, he’s likely to continue to mature as does anyone his age.

    In the end, as I pointed out, Kershaw will NEVER be as good as Koufax in his prime, but he will likely have a better career simply due to longevity. And keep this in mind. Unless the game changes and moves back to a 4-man rotation, Kershaw will never throw 320-330 innings. Yes, the height of the mound is no longer the same, but so too has the workload of pitchers changed. And I doubt if Kershaw will ever throw near as many complete games as Koufax, since bullpens now play a bigger role than they did in years past. If memory serves, I believe that Koufax threw 11 shutouts one year. I doubt if Kershaw will ever come close to approaching that.

    I don’t even know if you saw Koufax pitch in the ’60′s. I did, and I’m sure that Badger did. I have never ever seen a pitcher like him, and doubt if I ever will again. And if I do, it won’t be Kershaw. But that’s not so bad. I saw Juan Marichal and Bob Gibson at the same time I saw Koufax, and as great as they were, they simply weren’t in the same league as Koufax. Kershaw I believe will be a great pitcher, and have a longer and more productive career than Koufax. And there’s a lot to said for that. I know people here in New York who think that Tom Seaver was better than Koufax. Can’t argue with those people, because Seaver had the longer, more productive career. But at no point did he ever approach the greatness of Koufax between 1962-66. Not even close.

    Finally, in 1965 Koufax shutout the Twins in Minnesota (not on the high mound) 2-0 on TWO DAYS REST. This is a quote from Minnesota’s manager Sam Mele.

    “If anyone would like to make the World Series the best five out of nine games I would be willing to go on with it right now. But Koufax is murder. Great! The best I believe I have ever seen. You hate to lose, but we didn’t disgrace ourselves. We were beaten by the best pitcher that there is anywhere.” – Minnesota Twins Manager Sam Mele in Koufax (Edward Gruver, Taylor Trade Publishing, 04/03/2003, Page 195)

  6. Badger says:

    Ruth had 20/10 vision in both eyes. He could read the numbers off license plates before other players could see what state they were from. (Colors back then). He also allegedly had blacksmith hands. He could hit Koufax, but he would probably go to a shorter, lighter bat.

    Haven’t had time this morning Quas. Fixed two flats on our bikes and cleaned up the kitchen and vacuum. Was hoping to get the skinny here.

    Once again, complete games, shutouts, K’s, and 20+ wins. Nuf said.

  7. Quasimodo says:

    Is it possible Kershaw could even throw a perfect game @ Cardinals? yeah, even though that’s not what he seeks. But even if he does throw a no-no-no the Cards won’t be “turkeys”. Gotta respect class. And Cardinals franchise has never been short of class.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m sure we all thought of this last night. Is Capuano an option for the bullpen in the postseason?

    http://www.truebluela.com/2013/9/28/4779496/chris-capuano-nlds-roster-dodgers

    Given the problems that Paco has had recently, maybe he should be considered just a lefthanded specialist in this offseason.

    And considering the kind of year Matt Adams has had in St. Louis replacing Allen Craig (who may also be back), it might not be such a bad idea to have another lefty around if we end up playing the Cardinals.

    http://cardinals.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=571431#gameType=%27R%27

  9. the truth hurts says:

    I like it Mark, Clayton leaves alot to the imagination.

    Boys, I hope you all have been doing your breathing exercises…..ITS ABOUT TO GET REAL.

    Breathe in, deep breathes……while you can. I might have a heart attack sometime over the next week or two….or three ;)

    Anyone plan to attend any playoff games? or try?

  10. Quasimodo says:

    Its very very clear that Kershaw is a far better pitcher than Dickey. And perhaps 2012′s Cy Young should of gone to Kershaw. But I can’t say they got it wrong and I won’t say Dickey wasn’t deserving. There’s a romantic side of things and the R.A. Dickey story fit pretty good. So for one year the knuckle ball got the attention. I’m okay with that.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    For me there is no “perhaps” the Cy Young should have went to Dickey. Other than wins (which are largely a function of luck), Kershaw beat Dickey across the board in every important pitching stat. ERA, batting average against, WHIP, hits per 9, K’s per 9, etc., etc., etc. There is no doubt in my mind that Kershaw was robbed last year. There are probably some writers who voted for Dickey because they felt 2012 would be his only chance to win a Cy Young, which is really no reason at all. Kershaw had the better stats, but had the misfortune of pitching for the offensively challenged Dodgers.

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    Maybe the Dodgers can finish off the season with 3 nice wins against the Rockies. Has some good and bad . . .

    The Rockies are playing terrible baseball. Like last night, early when those runs scored on terrible (minor league like) throws from LF and CF by the Rockies. More like a little league game. I thought at the time, CarGo and Fowler might have thrown out both Dodger runners.

    And the Rockies starter was more like a AA or AAA pitcher.

    Will not see any of this in the post-season. See, that is the bad of playing against a weaken bad team at the end of the season.

    But the good is — the guys did get some hits, scored some runs, and the pitchers had a nice workout.

    On Koufax vs. Kershaw . . . remember, they were and are Dodgers. That says something. Both pitched in totally different times of baseball. Mound height, rotation days, bullpens, media, travel times, etc. And as Brooklyn pointed out — Sandy had to figure it out in the majors without the minor league teaching elements.

    When Mark and I drove to a “A” game of early Kersahw (Wisc.) and saw him pitch from the scouting row down front — he lost that game. But he was learning to pitch, and not sitting on the bench as a bonus rookie in Brooklyn like Sandy.

    Both should go down as the two best left handed pitchers in Dodger history. And that ain’t so bad.

  13. Bball says:

    Truth. Ill be at every weekend game available. I told my wife I don’t care about bills this month. This could be once in a lifetime. I’m not going during the week cuz I don’t wanna get fired but every weekend game I’m there. Ill just send a note saying you’ll get your payment but its gonna be a little late sorry the dodgers are in the playoffs. Maybe they’ll get a kick out of that. :) I doubt it

  14. Bball says:

    Oh and my wife told me Ef it ill go with u. I sure love my wife.

  15. the truth hurts says:

    LOL, I like it Bball! Sounds like a great wife you have there.

    I’m gonna try to make it too. Atlanta might be the first stop.

  16. Watford Dodger says:

    That Puig pinch hit was embarrassing.
    Took a strike straight down the pipe then swung at one nearly in the dirt then another swing at a high fastball.
    Also what are we doing WRISP? Pathetic.

  17. Badger says:

    Is Puig out if gas?

    3 for 28. Ofer WRISP.

    This IS our weakness.

  18. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, remember when Puig was in his first several weeks — Vinny kept saying, “Folks, this game is not this easy!!!”

    How is his late night life going?? Is he eating the right foods? Is he getting his sleep?
    Because many teams are now putting him to bed, at the plate.

  19. Badger says:

    Are we still the best road team in the league?

    I guess we’ll see, but, seems to me we were winning those road games when Puig and Ramirez were both hitting over .400. Kershaw, Greinke and the pen are capable of holding teams, even the good ones, to under 4 runs. Are we capable of scoring over 4 against these good teams? Stand by.

  20. Roger Dodger says:

    Roger,

    Roger Dodger

  21. SpokaneBob says:

    Tony Jackson said that when he first saw Clayton that he was a two pitch pitcher. His has since added more pitches to his arsinal and improved his control.

    Sandy Koufax was basically a two pitch pitcher…….

    But his two pitches were in a league of their own.

    I also had the privledge to see Sandy Koufax pitch many times. His stuff was simply better than any other pitcher I have ever seen.

    There are great fastballs and then there was Sandy’s fastball. It rose as it came to the plate like it was a wiffle ball. Many of the outs he got were pop ups because of it. His curve broke as they discribed it “falling off a table” and he trrew it hard. He could throw them both for strikes and as Mickey Mantle said to John Roseboro as he left the plate after striking out in the ’63 series “Hows a guy supposed to hit that shit”. He is the only pitcher to strike out the side on 9 pitches two times.

    So I agree that Clayton is a great pitcher and I hope he is a Dodger for his whole career. No doubt his career numbers will dwarf Sandys.

    But as far as this old guy is concerned, Sandy was a one of a kind.

    • Badger says:

      Amen Bob.

      I still don’t understand why we continue to have this discussion. In 5 years, when Kershaw has 4 no-hitters, 50 complete games, about a thousand more strikeouts, and a couple of World Series rings, then we can make the comparison. Until then, simply put, Sandy Koufax was the best pitcher I ever saw. And I have been watching MLB since about ’57. And for what it’s worth, my grandpa, a pitcher in the Texas League for years, pitched against Ruth and Gehrig in Florida, told me that Koufax was the best he ever saw too.

      Kemp’s owie is flaring up again. Oh goodie. The team is limping into the play-offs.

  22. SpokaneBob says:

    BTW, I hope that the Cards can maintain best record. They are playing better than the Braves and I am hoping the wildcard winner can get lucky and eliminate them before we have to play them. I know either path will be difficult but I feel good about our pitching in games one and two no matter who or where we play. I think Ryu and Nolasco need to pitch at home. Of course nothing is guarnteed, Koufax and Drysdale lost the first two games in ’65. And while I feel good about our pitching it will probably be our offense that tells the tale.

    I would love to see a Dodger – Red Sox World Series.

  23. Quasimodo says:

    The team is limping into the play-offs. Yep, while it feels that us Dodgers fans have an exclusive on apprehension it ain’t so. I hope the team sweeps in the 1st round. Really there is no such thing as ‘home field advantage’ with the ‘one-two’ punch Dodgers have with pitching, but hitting is the sum of ALL fears. These guys need to get in ‘mission mode’! Last day of the season, friends. Here’s to a great season and a better postseason! Cheers!

  24. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    In the end it’s about health, getting focused, and some luck.

    Is Matt Kemp going to be able to play? And if so, will he find the Kemp that we saw in 2011 and at the beginning of 2012, or will he be something else. Nobody can answer that question now, so we just have to wait and see.

    I assume that when the postseason begins nobody who is healthy is going to be getting any time off. So the lineup will have Hanley, Crawford, Kemp, Puig, Gonzalez, Uribe, and both Ellis’ in it everyday. And if he’s able to play, maybe Ethier will find himself in there on some days.

    I don’t think it’s possible to just turn it on and off. But I also think it’s natural for a team to have some sort of letdown after the run that the Dodgers had to get them where they are. The adrenalin flow and the focus needed to to do what they did can be exhausting. Hopefully, with the exhaustion behind them and with the reality of the possibility of elimination staring them in the face, they will be able to steel themselves to the task at hand.

    The Dodgers have the talent to win it all, but as we all know, that’s not always enough. With health, and maybe a little luck, hopefully the Dodgers will be able to put together one more good run through the playoffs and World Series. A lot of things will have to fall in place, but that’s no different for every other team in this postseason.

  25. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Re: Koufax/Kershaw

    Amen, both Bob and Badger.

    And Bob, I thought about the same thing re: the Braves and Cards. I fear the Cards more than any other team simply because they have both pitching and offense. But you never know. It all depends how a team is playing just at the time you play them. Did any of us expect the midgets to win it all last year?

  26. SpokaneBob says:

    Last night I was thinking about the 1960 World Series. A version of Murders Row aginst the light hitting, good defense/pitching Pirates. Every game the Yanks won was a lop sided laugher and the Pirates would eek out a 3-2 type win. The last game had more hitting on both sides but it took a Hal Smith homer in the 8th to tie and a mirical walk off by a light hitting, great fielding Bill Mazeroski to win it. Baseball is such a great game and when everything is on the line you never know what will happen. The ultimate reality show.

  27. jerry says:

    i dont think kemp will ever be the 2011 kemp, to many problems.hurt the last two yrs.strikes out to much..

  28. Quasimodo says:

    In the 1st round of play-offs the Dodgers in reality have home field advantage. Kershaw and Greinke for the 1st two road games and three and four @ home. Kinda looks like this was the plan all along.

  29. Watford Dodger says:

    Well guys I must say that all of you are on form with your comments today. Spokane, Quas & Brooklyn, you have summed up my thoughts on the playoffs perfectly – the points you make are all spot on. You know what? I think sometimes you need a few breaks & the rub of the green to make it happen for you. Lets hope Lady Luck is on our side.
    It’s easy to forget that we are actually a very good team. We are all looking at the negatives. Try it another way – do the other teams really want to play us? Would they like our 1st 3 starters atop their rotation? Definately. What about our pen? Maybe. Would they like Kenley closing? Will they be worried each time Puig, Agon, Kemp & Hanley come to the plate. Sure. Will they take the Ellis boys & Uribe lightly? I doubt it. Will they be aware that this team when it gets on a role can tear off a shed load of wins in a row. We have won large stretches of games without some of our star players – so if we have injuries – no problem. You know what – they should be fearing us not the other way round. I think the other teams particularly in the NL would rather let someone else battle us until they have to face us.
    Lets have a nice win tonight and get ourselves ready to enjoy what lies ahead.

  30. Badger says:

    Well, another snoozer.

    Let’s hope the varsity is ready to suit up for the next several weeks.

  31. Bball says:

    Kemp on crutches. Yikes. That’s not good.

  32. the truth hurts says:

    Kemp is done? Wow.

    We got here without him.

    • Badger says:

      We got here with Puig and Ramirez hitting .400 and OPSing around 1.200. That ain’t happnin anymore so Kemp’s bat is needed. Is Ethier going to be 100%? Doubt it.

      Not a great way to begin the playoffs.

  33. Quasimodo says:

    Mark doesn’t usually start a Koufax-Kershaw debate and vacate the topic. My guess the reason for that is he’s probably attending the last games at Dodger Stadium. Damn! Thursday feels like years away and April 1st seems like yesterday. Cheers, friends. Let the fun continue!

  34. Michael says:

    I hear you Badger. Matt has an owie and could break his ankle. Well Matt, Jack Youngblood played an entire postseason plus the ProBowl with a fractured fibula. Of course that’s when Men played the games and weren’t multi-million dollar corporations unto themselves. Did Matt see Kirk Gibson crawl up to the plate and turn the 88 World series around? I’ll be back next season, yeah right but if you’re not ready to give it all then you might find yourself playing in Seattle or worse yet a Yankee. Have Mommy kiss it better.
    Thank God it’s a team game, OUT!

  35. Bball says:

    I can’t believe kemp is done. What a forgettable season for him. I sure hope urs not a forgettable season for all of us

  36. Quasimodo says:

    Kemp is shut down and won’t be on the 25 roster.

    • Quasimodo says:

      It was pretty obvious that ankles aren’t supposed to do that.

      • Badger says:

        No kidding. Strange play. Very amateurish slide after loafing down the line.

        I hope he is humbled by this. You never know, professional athletes, many of them anyway, are too busy admiring themselves and spending their millions to recognize any need for humility. Ok then, on to the playoffs and working to out score some damn good teams.

  37. Badger says:

    One last thing I am sure you all have considered – if Ethier can’t play that means both Gordon and Hairston are on this roster and Van Slyke might be a starter. We are weakened at the the most critical time of the year. There will be a lot outs waiting to happen on this roster. Kershaw and Greinke might be required to throw shutouts.

    I’m just not as confident as I have been all year. Puig, Ramirez, Gonzo and the 5 Ruby Begonias. Oh lord.

    Well, if Kershaw is as good as Koufax, a complete game shutout to start this thing would be nice.

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