For the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a season where the starting rotation has been anything but a sure thing, every fifth day the team can breath a sigh of relief. Of course, that one day being when Clayton Kershaw takes the mound. In his last start versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kershaw had 11 strikeouts, 1 walk, with 2 earned runs over 7.1 innings in a 3-2 Dodgers win.
Pretty tame by his lofty standards, which tells you everything you need to know about how he is pitching this season. Currently, Kershaw carries with him a 10-1 record with a 1.58 ERA. When looking at his numbers, some of them really do jump off the page.
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) June 15, 2016
Most 10+ K, 0 BB games in a season:
2002 Curt Schilling 6
2004 Randy Johnson 6
2016 Clayton Kershaw 6*
*season in progress
— Ace of MLB Stats (@theaceofspaeder) June 16, 2016
While his strikeout and walk numbers are currently at levels literally never seen before in the league, he is putting up other stats that are equally as comical.
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) June 16, 2016
Clayton Kershaw swing & miss % by season:
— Daren Willman (@darenw) June 11, 2016
With the numbers that Kershaw is putting up this season, it would be easy for the Dodgers to become entirely reliant on the him. While he has never given any indication that he cant handle this immense level of pressure, to have the weight of an entire cities expectations squarely on your shoulders cannot be an easy task.
With the Dodgers barely hovering above .500 this season, questions have begun popping up about the team wasting a generational talent. While the numerous injuries have to be taken into account, through this point of the season, the rest of the rotation hasn’t held up its end of the bargain.
In the games Clayton Kershaw has pitched, the Dodgers are 12-1; on the days he doesn't pitch, they're 21-28.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 11, 2016
#Dodgers starting pitchers not named Clayton Kershaw averaging 5 1/3 IP per start this season. Can't keep doing that even to a 9-man bullpen
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 15, 2016
However, no matter how amazing Kershaw pitches and how many individual accolades he piles up, questions will linger about him till he achieves true post season greatness. The fact of the matter is, Kershaw hasn’t been as dominant as he’s been in the regular as in the post season. Not to say that he hasn’t pitched well, he merely hasn’t pitched to the astronomical standards he’s set for himself.
Fair or not, these questions will not subside until he delivers the Dodgers to at least a World Series appearance. While he cant do it by himself, it’s certainly not for a lack of trying. Until that happens though, fans everywhere should appreciate watching a truly once in a lifetime talent.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) June 16, 2016
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