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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Thinks Clayton Kershaw’s Health Has Him Pitching Like An Ace

The Clayton Kershaw we all know and love seems to be back.



Dodgers fans got to see another vintage Clayton Kershaw outing on Thursday. His slider was missing bats, his curveball was buckling knees, and his fastball was pinpoint accurate. Kershaw went six innings and struck out 8 Diamondbacks hitters, allowing just 1 hit. 

Kershaw’s average fastball velocity is up a little bit in 2020, but he’s also mixing in his slider at a higher rate. That combined with the fact that he’s healthy this year has made for a very effective southpaw. The Dodgers’ pitcher left Thursday’s game with a 1.50 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. Those numbers rank among the top 2 in the National League. 

Kershaw spent time this season at the Driveline Academy, mixing in new workouts and locking in on mechanical discrepancies. Whatever he did, it seems to have worked out very well. Kershaw is very quietly turning himself into a Cy Young candidate, and hitting massive milestones in the process. He just hit the 2500 strikeout mark on Thursday and passed a Hall of Fame pitcher on the all-time punchout list. 

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts talked about Clayton after the game, recognizing that something was different in 2020. That difference? His health. 

The number one thing is he’s healthy. And really, Clayton has done a great job trying to get back and working hard diligently every single day with the training staff…For him to be healthy and not have to guard and protect against his body or his back I think it allows him that freedom to execute pitches…He was our ace last year, he’s pitching like an ace again. 

At 32-years-old, it’s tough to know how long a pitcher will hold up. After all, Kershaw had to sit out the Dodgers Opening Day after tweaking his back. But that doesn’t change the fact that Kershaw is slowly changing the narrative, and we’re all here for it. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. The umpires strike zone was not consistent last night. Kershaw was not as precise with his control last night. The umpire sometimes squeezing the strike zone and other times calling balls strikes must drive all the players crazy.
    I want to see some type of automated strike zone. Perhaps the Umpire can have an ear bud to tell them if it was a strike and then they can call it or not. But at least they would have a clue.

  2. Mary is correct. Kershaw is an ace as a person as well. The hell with those who have badmouthed him in recent years

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