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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Named Decade’s Best Pitcher by The Athletic

Kershaw was inarguably the best pitcher of the 2010s.

Clayton Kershaw epitomizes dominance — at least in the regular season. Despite declining ‘stuff’, he still manages to go out to the mound every year and be excellent. To all the people who are going to mention his lackluster postseason performances, you’re right. Your opinions are justified. However, Kershaw still was the most dominant pitcher in the decade of the 2010s and it really is not that close.

Jayson Stark of The Athletic put together his full all-decade team on behalf of the publication and named Clayton Kershaw as the best pitcher of the 2010s. Not surprising.

Kershaw is definitely cemented in the conversation for the best pitcher of all time — in the regular season, to clarify. He holds a lifetime 2.44 ERA and 2.74 FIP, 64.5 WAR, and is just 31 years old. His age is steadily increasing and the stuff is declining like I said, but he can certainly still pitch. He showed in flashes in 2019 that he is still a formidable force near the top of the Dodgers’ rotation.

In the context of Stark’s column, Kershaw’s numbers from 2010 to 2019 were special. He held a 2.31 ERA and 2.64 FIP while racking up eight All-Star appearances, three Cy Young Awards, and the 2014 NL MVP. Even outside of the three Cy Young wins, he finished in the top five in voting for seven consecutive seasons — six in the top three.

Kershaw is special and while he now firmly in the second half of his career, we need to cherish the time we do have with him.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 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.

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  1. Yes let’s cherish all the times he contributed to our downfall instead of saving us like a Bumgarner or Koufax

  2. Kershaw has made 25 career postseason starts. The Dodgers are 10-1 in games where CK gives up 2 or fewer runs but only 1-3 when he has given up 3 runs. This accounts for 15 of his 25 starts. I don’t think this is a lackluster postseason career. It actually looks very much like his regular season career. Has he struggled? Ya he’s struggled. What should our expectations be? It is a fact that CK has been ask to shoulder the burden of Dodger teams heading into the playoffs without rotation and bullpen depth for years. He’s come out of the pen and pitched on short rest many times and asked to go deep. CK has been asked to go above and beyond and has done it under very particular conditions that are an inconvenient truth for far too many fans who are looking for a savior. Add to that a sports media who are desperate for stories to milk year after year without having to do more than poke around the surface. Ultimately CK’s career big picture points to a simple reality, the Dodgers win games when he gives up 2 or fewer runs in the playoffs and the regular season. That is a tall order for any pitcher to sustain. Especially a pitcher who started a 7 year postseason run having already thrown 1,180 innings at 25 years old. By comparison, Bumgarner is closest with 950 innings at age 25. But these 950 regular season innings were thrown by 2014, the year the giants last won the World Series. In the last decade, nobody else comes close to Kershaw’s regular season innings mileage at 25 years old…Garret Cole 579.1, Verlander 600, Cole Hamels 735.2, Stephen Strasburg 434.1, Max Scherzer 226.

    2013 is the year the “Kershaw Narrative” began following a very bad game in STL. But has anyone looked at his over all postseason leading up to that game? Following a career high 236 regular season innings against the Braves in game 1 CK went 7 innings, 1 run 124 pitches 12 K’s. He then pitched around poor defense on short rest in game 4 going 6 innings 91 pitches, 2 unearned runs to close out the series. Claytons’ game 2 loss to the cards on an unearned run, 72 pitches and 6 k’s is remarkable in my book. That game left him with a .47 era heading into game 6. During the regular season Kershaw lost both his starts to STL. Game 6 would be the 4th time they’d see him that year. I was disappointed by the outcome for sure, but not surprised to see the Cardinals break through. In those two games CK got exactly 0 runs to work with. And for all his hard work over the entire season/postseason, we say “thanks for nothing, you are a chocker” and BTW, here’s your narrative. Try and work around that for the next 6 years. Kershaw is a great pitcher, no caveats needed.

      • seriously, is that all you got? spell check? You can troll, but you should really try to have something to put on the table. Try, I am all ears.

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