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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Becomes Best Player in Franchise History

The Dodgers have a new all-time franchise leader in WAR.

Dodgers
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 01: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on August 01, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw has been utterly dominant for the last decade. For as many people who say he is ‘washed’ and ‘won’t get by with his velocity’, he is silencing them with his 2.77 ERA this season. He remains one of the best pitchers in the game, something that did not seem like a feasible statement to make through all the back injuries and 89 mile per hour fastballs.

Kershaw is a Dodger and hopefully will be one until his career comes to an end. He has already been in the league for a whopping 12 seasons. Where does time go?

In his masterful start on Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals, Kershaw tossed 7 innings of one-run ball and struck out 9 while only walking one. In the process, Kershaw also surpassed Don Sutton for the Dodgers franchise record for wins above replacement (WAR).

There is no doubt that Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher of this generation. A 2.41 ERA, three Cy Young Awards, and a 2014 NL MVP attest to that.

Now, on the downside of Kershaw’s career trajectory — one that sees him age rather gracefully — Kershaw is now poised to rack up as many pitching records for the Los Angeles Dodgers as possible. He rivals the great Sandy Koufax for the greatest pitcher of not just Dodgers history, but of baseball history.

What we have witnessed for the last 12 years from Clayton Kershaw has been amazing. It has been a thrill ride. One day, though, and one day soon, it will come to an end. So, enjoy it now and recognize greatness because whenever Kersh takes that mound, you are witnessing possibly the greatest pitcher the sport has ever seen.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

7 Comments

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  1. Not sure why you think it will come to an end “soon.” It looks to me like Kersh has every reason to plan for another decade of dominance. He’s gone from the best power pitcher in baseball to one of the 3-4 best control/placement pitchers in baseball, in the mold of a left-handed Greg Maddox. I look forward to watching him rack up another 130-150 wins in a Dodgers uniform.

    • I hope your prognostications come to pass. Although Koufax is the reason I became a Dodgers fan back in the early ’60s, having Kersh rocket to the top of most/all LA pitching stats has been incredible to watch. Haters will bring up his post-season performances, but maybe the huge dependence on him during the regular season has played some role in that. Still, he’s the best pitcher of the past 10+ years.

  2. Kershaw shouldn’t be considered the best player in franchise history until he wears at least a couple of World Series rings.

  3. The Duke of Flatbush has always been my all time Dodger favorite…ever since I became a Dodger fan in 1952 at the age of 8. I remember how overcome with joy I was in 1955 when dem bums won it all. IMHO the three best pitchers that I’ve witnessed playing in person are 1. Sandy Koufax. 2. Bob Gibson. and 3. Clayton Kershaw.

  4. Pro athletes in today’s era are like super hero’s. They are trained with advanced skills, work-outs, technology Etc…
    Baseball hitters are way advanced and much better than hitters in the past. Therefore for a pitcher to outlast and continue to dominate the game as Kershaw is doing. It is amazing and he should be distinguished as an elite pitcher. I believe that he is definitely the best pitcher of our era and maybe the best pitcher to ever play the game. With all due respect to all other amazing pitchers that have made history. My opinion is that if Kershaw would have pitched the way he does right now. The majority of hitters of the past would probably not even be able to make contact.
    Kershaw #1 pitcher of Dodgers franchise.

  5. When the Dodgers needed a must win, they had Koufax to rely. He always came thru. They didn’t count pitches back then and complete games were a real stat that has become meaningless today. Don’t get me wrong, Kershaw is a great pitcher, but Koufax will always be at the top of my list.

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