For years we have known and understood what a privilege it was to watch Clayton Kershaw pitch every five days.
In fact, performances like last night’s exhibition of domination have almost become expected.
But as the game ended and the Dodgers secured a much-needed win behind the team’s, and maybe the league’s, best player, a number of stats and tweets came out that made me realize how little I really understood about Kershaw’s significance.
As a younger Dodger fan, I’ve heard stories and rumors about guys like Koufax, Newcombe and Drysdale, but comparing stories from years ago to what I’m witnessing today is nearly impossible.
But last night, a series of tweets came out that finally put Kershaw into perspective.
It turns out, the Kershaw we’re all witnessing grow up before our eyes isn’t just one of the best pitchers today — he’s one of the best pitchers of all-time.
After the game last night, SportsCenter issued the following tweet:
Clayton Kershaw’s stellar start puts him on top of one of the most remarkable lists in MLB history » twitter.com/SportsCenter/s…
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 15, 2013
In the live-ball era, which began in 1920 with the institution of a few hitter-friendly rules, Clayton Kershaw has the best ERA among any starting pitcher with 1,000 innings pitched.
To put it all into perspective, Kershaw’s 2.70 career ERA leads Whitey Ford (2.75) and Sandy Koufax (2.76) for first.
Did I mention that Kershaw is just 25?
And the best part of it all is that Kershaw is only getting better.
And then, Eric Stephen from True Blue LA made this statement:
Clayton Kershaw in his last 57 starts has a 1.99 ERA.
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) May 15, 2013
Considering that Kershaw has made between 31 and 33 starts each of the last four years, this unconscious stretch of pitching dates all the way back to 2011.
It’s easy to get spoiled as a sports fan by losing perspective of what we’re all witnessing, but following Kershaw’s start last night, it’s time we put everything in context.
Anytime I talk Dodger baseball with my dad, any talk of great pitching eventually leads back to Sandy Koufax and his utter domination.
Fortunately for my kids, all they’re ever going to hear about is some guy named Kershaw.