If you were in attendance at the Ravine on Monday night, it was a night to remember until the ninth inning. Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner took the hill in one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports: the Dodgers and the Giants. Kershaw reminded us all just how dominant he can actually be.
Clayton Kershaw: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 hellacious fist pump after the final out of the 8th. At 110 pitches, that's almost certainly it.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) August 14, 2018
Kershaw consistantly sat at around 90-92 mph on his fastball. Maybe its a result of the many back issues he has experienced, or maybe father time has simply caught up to the arm that has now tossed over 2000 regular season innings. But Kershaw has found ways to beat time, or at least slow it down.
To say that his slider was good on Monday night would be the understatement of the year. He had it breaking in onto the back foot of right-handed hitters, and brushing lefties off of the plate the whole night. And his curveball wasn’t so bad either. When it’s good, it looks something like this:
Clayton Kershaw, Beautiful 73 mph Curveball (release/path). ? pic.twitter.com/XGTnrgl4Fq
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 21, 2018
It might not have looked THAT good on Monday, but he had hitters buckling all over the place. Kershaw pitched eight masterful innings, allowing just one earned run. He struck out nine Giants and did not allow a free pass in that time. He also gave up just four hits.
His next start, if nothing on the schedule changes, will come on Sunday in Seattle.
It’s funny to me that people call Kershaw “washed” based off of his performance this year. And yet, here we are. Kershaw owns a 2.47 earned run average across 18 starts, and has gotten his strikeout rate back up around his career average. Sure, Cy Young and MVP awards may be behind him. But the remainder of his career sure does look bright if he can continue to work around losing velocity.
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