Clayton can throw 97 if he has to, but now that he has 5 or 6 excellent pitches, he doesn’t have to!  He tops out at at 92-94 MPH, which has to be easier on his arm.  While his stuff isn’t better than Sandy Koufax, he may already be a better pitcher (some of you will cry about that statement)… and he just keeps getting better and better.

What a game last night.

What an ace!

Another Cy Young is around the corner.

How much better can he get?


  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Relax Mark, we know that there’s no crying in baseball.

    Once Koufax got control of his stuff, he could pitch. Wasn’t his fault that he had overpowering stuff. Don’t think many, if any, pitchers threw the slider in the 1960’s. But in case you’re unaware, once Koufax gained command he had impeccable control. And who’s crying? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Kershaw throw a pitch over 96, and he doesn’t do that very often, if at all, anymore. Kershaw is a great pitcher, but so was Koufax. If you think Koufax was just a thrower, then you never saw him pitch, or were too young to appreciate how good of a pitcher he was. Koufax’s greatness was a combination of overpowering stuff coupled with superior command. And as good as Kershaw’s curve is, it doesn’t hold water to the one that Koufax threw.

    So please, stop crying.

    • Badger says:

      Andy Messersmith threw a slider in high school in ’64. I know because we went to the same school. Not sure where he learned it but it was unhittable. It really did look like a heater then dove about a foot. I can’t say I know of any pitchers who say they were using it but I’m sure some were. I know I did, and I know I faced pitchers who threw it. Maybe it just wasn’t called a slider. I don’t recall.

      Kershaw is indeed a master craftsman. I hope he lasts the length of his contract. SO MANY great pitchers out there don’t seem to stay great that long. We are facing one today and the list of overpaid throwers in this league is quite long.

  2. Pete M says:

    Brooklyn, I’m not going to enter the Koufax vs. Kershaw debate, but I surely would commend you on your minor lg. analysis in the previous post. We are in way better shape than we have been lets say 3-4 years ago…,
    I will stick with my prediction early in the year that my Dodgers as constituted can get us to NLCS championship and into the WS… Yes, we have to cherry pick a starting pitcher (Let me ask again as did T.O Dave, what’s wrong with a summer rental of Bartolo) and fill a few holes in the BP, which I think can still be done internally. This is the Guggenheim plan, WIN RIGHT NOW and start adding the Pedersons and Seagers in the following years…
    Kersh was brilliant!!!! More important is the heating up of my 3-4-5 hitters and health… If they start rockin n rolling, we will unstoppable in the NL…
    Damned if I don’t feel like I’ve adopted Badger’s year long mantra…

  3. Badger says:

    Just saw the Times power rankings. Dodgers 6th, but 1st in NL. Is the AL that much better or is the Times full of it? They have the Rays ranked higher. Are we to assume those so called s’perts believe in a 7 game series 5 AL teams, including the Rays, could beat the Dodgers?

    Yeah Pete, I agree with Brooklyn on the state of our system. Let’s face it 90% of all those players down there won’t get a sniff. Does it really matter how many games those teams win? Or is the number of ML level talent produced the measure?

    • Badger says:

      And there was this:

      “In discussing Pederson, Colletti notes that he isn’t ready to contribute to a pennant race. Hitting southpaws and trimming his strikeout rate top Pederson’s to-do list.”

      There you go. The thing is, his slash line against LHP is .298 .412 .540. Not sure what else he is supposed to do.

  4. Pete M says:

    up JP would disrupt the team… I know it’s easy to just say DFA this guy and Release this one, but in most cases it doesn’t work that way…
    Power ranks… I think of great importance is to look at the parks they play in!!! Anyhow bring me the 6!!!
    Drafting in any major lg. sport is a crap shoot and more so in baseball. HS seniors and 15 year olds from South America…. May God be with you….

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Thank you Pete.

    Pete, I guess Bartolo Colon might be a decent pick-up. However, I also have reservations about him. I’d like to know what he’s done lately, since at age 41 it’s important to see if he’s beginning to wear down as the season progresses. Also, I seriously doubt if even the well-heeled Dodgers want to pick up the $11 million he’s owed for 2015. And if the Mets were willing to pick up a large piece of that, my guess is that they’d want something of value in return.

    Badger, in the history section of this from Wikipedia (link follows) they note that the slider was referred to as a “nickel curve” in the 1910’s (even before my time). I remember hearing references to the nickel curve back in the ’60s, but not so much the slider. But the years have a way of playing tricks on my already fuzzy memory.

    When I think of Andy Messersmith I think of a great change-up. Probably had the slider too. Just something else that escaped my fuzzy memory.

  6. Badger says:

    Good point. Andy was very strong and obviously threw very hard. His change up was the old fashioned kind, the same as I was taught as a kid, just back the ball up in your hand. It later became the circle change. Andy did have a good one. All his pitches were good, but our coach always talked about, and taught us, how he threw that slider. Something many probably don’t know, Andy was an outstanding high school QB. He went to Berkeley and could have played both sports but focused on baseball. He graduated from Western High in Anaheim the year before I got there, but I knew him. We played pickup football games on local fields. Doug Mooers was there too, even after he signed with the Cowboys. Those were brutal, nasty games. Carloads of guys from Long Beach, Downey, Lakewood would show up and we played tackle football for hours. It looked like the beginning of a gang fight when these guys would show up, but it never became one. Just a bunch of young studs playing rough, tackle football on the weekend. I once ended up at the local emergency room for 12 stitches on my eye socket. On the way in a friend fired up a bowl of Afghan bud. First time I tried that particular type, but that’s a story for another time.

  7. bobbie17 says:

    Great 2 wins. A sweep on TV would be great, especially with the Giants’ new ace pitching. How about knocking him out of the game in the 3d inning? Some perspective on what has been happening lately: Mattingly and the front office have been planning for this series since the All Star break. They are using it as a measure of how good this team is and how it stacks up against the Giants. The rotation was set from the All Star break to pitch in this series. I don’t think the Giants have taken the same attitude about this series, but it is clear that they don’t like what they see in their own team. The Giants really miss the center fielder. So this series is a measuring stick for the rest of the season. The only problem I see with that is that the Giants are not at full strength right now, and might not be for the rest of the season. I really like that they gave up 2 of their better pitchers to rent Peavy. If nothing else, the Dodgers have forced them to get rid of some of their young talent. Which brings me to the next point: Clearly, the Dodgers could have gotten Peavy, if they were willing to part with their young stars in waiting. The team obviously was not willing to do that. This means that the team is satisfied with #4 and #5 and that they are not parting with the young guys, no matter what. There will be no blockbuster trades. Right now the team feels it is good enough to win the division with what it has, needing only to set up the rotation so as not to expose the back end of it. Even the bullpen will be unchanged, with the scrubs(and we know who they are) pitching only to eat innings, probably on the days that #4 and #5 pitch. The key in all of this is for the offense to be healthy and for Gonzo to keep hitting. 2d in the league in rbi’s? How can that be? Keep Kemp in right every day and Puig in center every day, with Crawford and Ethier platooning in left.
    Keep HanRam away from danger and on the field. I really think that the decision makers believe that with health and even average hitting, the team can get through the starts of #4 and#5 in decent shape. This is another get away day. We have to win 75% of those. No resting guys. If the Giants want to rest, let them. We go balls to the wall today.

  8. bobbie17 says:

    On the Kershaw/Koufax comparison: Right now, I think Kershaw has better pitches than did Koufax. That slider is amazing and sets up everything else. Koufax had the 2 devastating pitches, and pitched all the time. Every 4 days, 9 innings a start, 2 days rest in the postseason or down the stretch, etc, etc. Kershaw will never do most of that because of the nature of things today, but hopefully he will get to pitch in the postseason more, and we can see what he can do with the pressure of the postseason. Koufax dominated it. Even in the 63 world series against the vaunted Yankees at Yankee Stadium, he dominated with 15K and led to the sweep of Mantle/Maris and Co. Kershaw needs to do that a few times before he can be considered in that class. It will take some time, and the team has to be good enough to get there. Then we can talk.

  9. Bobby says:

    Ned had no choice but to point to a couple of reasons why Joc isn’t up here yet. He can’t say “it’s because we have 3 guys I overpaid and now I”m stuck with and nobody else is dumb enough like me to just take those contracts AND give me a couple of top prospects as well”.

    So he says Joc, who is hitting .298 against lefties, needs to improve vs. lefties. Although the strikeout thing is a legit excuse and I imagine that’s the main thing he’s going to have to improve on.

  10. Badger says:

    Koufax and Kershaw have nearly identical K/9 stats, which is amazing considering how many more innings per year (and innings per game) Koufax pitched. I DID get to see him pitch, many times, and it was remarkable how many great hitters couldn’t get a bat on him after already facing him 2-3 times that night. Better pitches? I don’t believe that’s the case.

    I still think Jic may be striking out a lot because he doesn’t get anything to hit. I’m reminded of Bobby Bonds in high school. In looking at the All Orange County team my sophomore year everyone on that team had hit somewhere near or above .400. Bonds? .297. I’ll never forget it. I asked my coach about it, he laughed and said “coaches instructed pitchers not to throw anything near the strike zone”. Maybe Joc is going outside the strike zone. He still walks a lot. I believe he is ready. If it were any other team he would probably be up.

  11. BOB says:

    I have always been opposed to Pete Rose being allowed to participate in baseball and to be allowed into the HOF due to his greed and addiction to gambling resulting in the negative affect upon the lives of other people. However, now the HOF has allowed into it’s ranks a coach who gambled with the arms, and therefore economic lives of relief pitchers resulting in his increased pay and stature. I ask what is worse? Screwing with money or screwing with people? Gambling with money or gambling with people? Transferring money to yourself through illegal gambling or transferring money to yourself through gambling with other people’s arms? Today the Hall of Fame has inducted one abusive coach, one coach that obviously missed 100 anger management classes, and one coach who was an alcoholic, and even worse an attorney. In my opinion the HOF has no ethics because they have no moral consistency in their alleged standards and therefore no longer have a leg to stand upon in regards to Pete Rose’s non-admittance and as a result are no longer a relevant organization.

  12. BOB says:

    Guerrier was DFA’d from the Twins roster and he is better than Wilson and Perez. Ned swallow your pride.
    Do the Dodgers have any depth in the 6th starter position? Patterson ERA of 9.50 during July, Fife on the DL, and Bonus Baby Zach Lee has reached his equilibrium with May ERA of 5.79, June ERA of 5.67, and July ERA of 5.66. We know who Lee is now.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Lee may turn out to be nothing, but I won’t come to any conclusions about him until he pitches in a normal environment. He probably relies heavily on his breaking stuff. Well, in the thin air of ALBQ. that stuff doesn’t break. That removes major weapons from his arsenal, and also has to play with his head. I’m not going to say he’s any good, but I’m also not going to reach any conclusions based on what he’s done, not only in ALBQ., but in the PCL in general.

    Pederson is hitting .340 against righthanders. Maybe the Dodgers figure that the .296 against lefthanders is low for the PCL, especially since the breaking balls he’s facing have to be less challenging than those he would see elsewhere. Also, last year the split at Chattanooga was .316 vs. RHP and .200 vs. LHP. Struck out and walked a lot last year too. He probably would struggle for a while at the big league level. The question is, is how long it would take him to make adjustments. I suspect the Dodgers will keep him in the minors, and bring him up in September. The plan is probably for him to make a serious run at a starting job next year. Since I don’t see him play everyday, I’ll have to trust the people that do.

    If the Dodgers somehow trade Ethier and/or Crawford, I could see Pederson getting called up. In that case he could be used mostly as a defensive replacement, and in a platoon, and as a pinch hitter. The minor league season only has about a month to go, so I don’t see where such a move would retard his development. In fact, it could help, seeing as he would become somewhat accustomed to the big leagues before competing for a full-time job next spring. And he could get further experience playing winter ball this coming off-season.

    I’d hesitate before putting “ace” next to Peavy’s name. Bochy had a problem setting up his rotation for this series, given that Matt Cain is probably out for the remainder of the season. Perhaps he should have lined up Madison Bumgarner for this series. Why he didn’t, I really don’t know.

  14. t.o.dave says:

    MLBTradeRumors: possible trade involving Kemp and Lester. Who and what else would have to be included for this to make sense? Lester has already said that he’d resign with Boston if traded (translation, Dodgers better back up a Brinks Truck to keep him from resigning with Boston or lose Kemp AND see Lester return to the Redsox after a few month rental). I don’t normally jump in on the anti-Ned talk, but this smells rotten. In the same article after all, it was pointed out that the Redsox would want lots of cash to help offset Kemp’s contract.

    • Badger says:

      Lester would be huge, but not at that expense. I’d prefer the package center around Pederson. But I wonder if maybe the talk behind closed doors has heated up and the situation is untenable. Hope not. But, Kemp has DH written all over him. If it’s going to happen, happen it in the AL and don’t pay that much of the hundred eleventy seven million. Seattle is also allegedly interested. Work it Jed.

      • Blake Estes says:

        If Ned does that deal he should be fired on the spot. I think we should be going after Kurt Suzuki. I can’t even watch an Ellis at bat anymore. When Puig is up it’s must see tv. I take pee breaks when aj is up. I’d rather see butera

      • t.o.dave says:

        I liked the idea of a Kemp for Price trade since we’d conceivably have two playoff runs with Price. You’re right though (as usual) Lester would be huge, and if the situation is untenable, then that may be the best deal Ned can work for our chances THIS year at a championship.

        • Badger says:

          Good point dave. It’s about this year. We could probably get the extra prospects in a deal with Seattle.

          Uribe and AJ with some weak at bats with ducks on the pond. Dang it. Don’t give Peavy any mo. He could get on a roll.

  15. Michael says:

    Excuse me for my ignorance, but what is that BIG 75 patch we’re sporting? Never noticed it before, but my nickname is Mr. MaGoo.

    Thoughts on the plate ump tonight?

  16. Michael says:

    I don’t understand all the hate for AJ. His main job is his handling of the pitching staff, controlling the running game with any offense being gravy.
    I’m sure that getting an upgrade at the position is on the to do list but we have more pressing issues with the pen and at least one SP.

    Anyway, AJ is going yard tonight

      • Badger says:

        AJ is hitting .200 with a negative dWAR and a 16% CS avg.. But yes, he does catch the ball most of the time when the pitchers throw it. He’s having an off year. Going yard would help.

          • Quasimodo says:

            A.J. is having worse than a single off year with the bat. But one doesn’t have to look very hard to recognize how much of an asset he is to this club. Just listen to what our pitchers have to say, listen to what the coaches have to say, or don’t. I do, A.J. is an unsung hero.

            Lightning knocked out my sat. in bottom of the 9th after seeing Jansen throw just a couple but got back signal to see the game end. Cool sweep!

  17. Jim Anderson says:

    I was impressed that we took advantage of the mistakes the Giants made. It seems that we let the other team off the hook far too often when they give us extra outs. I don’t get why Kemp’s agent won’t shut up. Yes, we understand Kemp is upset he’s not playing center-field. Rather than tell people how much he could use a change of scenery he should spend more time explaining to Matt that he’s not good in center-field anymore (hurts the team), he’s fragile (hurts himself and the tea)m and he’s already got his big pay day. It’s the same with Hanley not recognizing that he hurts the team playing short. He should ask Crawford or A-Gon what the fans and media are like in Boston. From the Dodgers stand point I don’t get how trading him would help. If we were to lose Hanley next year we only have Puig as righty power bat (nevermind we would be counting on Crawford to stay healthy and Ethier to remember how to hit for power the rest of this season). That is unless we want to make a run at Nelson Cruz or an Alex Rios and we can’t count on Guerrero.

  18. Roger Dodger says:

    Offer Hanley a nice but moderate contract with incentives. Below market value because he is made of glass. If he says no — let him walk. Take the Draft pick for him. Then Arrrr just might be ready next season and be the glove man needed at SS.

    Take the almost used Hanley 2015 money and use it in a different direction for a bat. That just might mean to get rid of two outfielders in trades or just let them walk . . . That means some re-making of the team over the winter. But that is a must, because this 4 outfielder thing cannot go on next season. Remember Joc Pederson might just be ready come April 2015.

    All that said — a starting pitcher is still needed this season. Beckett and Haren are not what I want going down the stretch in Sept and for the post season.

  19. Badger says:

    Top of the order 0 for 12 and we still beat those buttchumps. Love it.

    Hanley has no position. He’s likely gonna be even worse at short next year. Third base? Eh, maybe. But we have Uribe signed for two. Make the offer, take the pick, bring up Arrue and pitch the bejeezus out of the league again.

  20. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    My guess is that the Dodgers will make a qualifying offer to Hanley. They need to do so to get a draft pick. The qualifying offer two years ago was $13.3 million, and $14.1 million last year. It’s likely going up to over $15 million this year. Chances are that Hanley would turn it down and declare free agency. And if for some reason Hanley does take the offer, then we have him for one year at about $15 million.

    I would not give up any of our top prospects to rent Lester for the remainder of this season.

    It is getting disturbing watching A.J. But I still prefer him to Butera, who came into this season with a lifetime average below the Mendoza line.

    And as bad as he’s been with the bat, I still feel that he might still revert back to what he was, and maybe hit .250 for the rest of the way. If the opportunity comes for the Dodgers to strengthen themselves behind the plate in a deal, then by all means they should do it.

    Good not only to sweep the midgets and move a game and a half up, but it’s also nice to finally see the Dodgers with an edge in the loss column.

    Well, it’s off to Atlanta, and we hold our collective breaths waiting to see what happens between now and Thursday night.

  21. BOB says:

    Zach Lee has fallen from 4th to 6th in the new Dodger Top 20 Prospect list and has dropped from an overall rating of 55 to 50.
    Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 40 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50. Looks like he never really developed a curveball, and with an average slider, and slightly above average fastball, that is a real problem..
    So far he is a $5 mil bust.

    I prefer to think about and believe objective information from professionals as opposed to the self centered brain limited refuse of certain prima donna bloggers who constantly attempt to squeeze their short sited little opinions where they were never intended to belong.

    Seager and Urias are 65s.
    Pederson has dropped to #3 and is a 60
    Holmes is the lone 55
    There are now six 50s
    And 10 45s
    Now there are 3 OFs in the Top 10. Amazing how fast and far some of the pitchers have fallen, actually amazing considering this player development staff’s record..

  22. Watford Dodger says:

    Old friend Big Show slated to start Tuesday night against Beckett. He’s got a 9-6 record which is pretty impressive. Then Grienke & Kershaw. The days off have allowed us to ‘rest’ Haren.
    Personally I wouldn’t do the Lester trade – not for a 2 month rental.
    I think Campy said that we may as well go all in on Price because at least that would give us 2 goes at it. Actually what about a deal with the Reds for Cueto? He’s a FA after this year & they may want to try and get something for him? It’s a longshot but they have holes that need filling.

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