Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner has become one of the most notable, interesting and exciting individual rivalries in all of baseball. They’re both left-handed, they’re both dominant, they’re both hulking figures and it doesn’t hurt they play for the Dodgers and Giants respectively.
We’ve already seen this season’s first chapter of their rivalry, and it didn’t go exactly as planned for the Boys in Blue. Tonight, we get to see the rivalry resumes back at Dodgers Stadium. Before Kershaw throws his first pitch tonight, why not take a look back at the numbers when he and Bumgarner face off?
The numbers tell an interesting story.
- This will be the ninth time they’ll face each other.
- Bumgarner is 4-2 in those games, Kershaw, obviously going 2-4. As tends to be the case, wins and losses don’t tell the entirety of these games.
- Kershaw’s stats are more impressive.
- His ERA (2.14) is lower than Bumgarner’s mark of 2.45.
- His walk-to-strikeout ratio (9.3) is more than double Bumgarner’s (4.2).
From this brief glimpse into the numbers, the matchup shows just how complicated dueling aces will be. Hits, let alone runs, are always hard to come by in these situations. So, when a mistake is made, it becomes heightened because of the lack of a likely response from the guilty pitcher’s team.
Blaming Kershaw for the win-loss record lets his teammates off the hook for producing so few runs against his counterpart. But hey, context isn’t fun.
Tonight is extra special, as it will be played with Jackie Robinson Day as the backdrop. It’s pretty safe to assume both aces will be up for the challenge. Both teams have to hope Kershaw and Bumgarner’s teammates are up for the challenge.