Some people say that the New York Yankees or the Dallas Cowboys are “America’s Team”. In spite of my San Francisco roots, I think the mantle of “America’s Team” is currently held by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have Vin Scully, a living and breathing repository of baseball history, calling their games. (Listen to him tell the Gene Hermanski story every April 15th. It will give you chills.) They are in the second largest media market in the country and they have the best pitcher in the baseball. Clayton Kershaw has a lifetime ERA+ of 150. He averages 9.7K/9 lifetime, including 12K/9 this season. He has a lifetime WHIP of 1.052. He has won 3 Cy Young Awards and 1 MVP. He is the active leader in career WAR.
Clayton Kershaw has had a few struggles this season. His 2015 ERA has climbed to 2.85 after a few bad outings. He had an uneven April and May that included giving up 5 runs in 5 1/3 innings his second start of the season. Kershaw is the reigning MVP but he wasn’t selected by Bochy for the All-Star Game nor did he win the final “five man” fan vote. He was a last minute injury replacement and gave up two runs during the ASG. Yahoo sports went so far as to call him one of the losers of the 2015 All Star Game. But fear not baseball fans for Clayton Kershaw is back on top. (Sorry, Giants fans.)
Clayton Kershaw struck out 14 while giving up 3 hits and no walks in 8 innings of work against the NL East leading Washington Nationals. He certainly didn’t look like an injury replacement for an All-Star Game that happened just days ago. He looked comfortable on the mound, throwing only 101 pitches in 8 innings and establishing a rhythm early that never wavered. I’m not going to say that Clayton Kershaw is back because Kershaw never went away. Now let’s watch all the pundits who called him washed up back pedal. I’ll bring the popcorn.
Image Clayton Kershaw by SD Kirk under CC2.0 via Flickr