He leads all major league pitchers in ERA, WHIP, WAR and is tied with James Shields for quality starts so it’s safe to say that Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is having quite the season.
In a year where “Kill the Win” has been rampant amongst analysts, Kershaw “only” has 14 due to poor run support and an inept bullpen blowing leads for him. Kershaw is almost a lock to win the NL Cy Young award and was aided by the unfortunate season-ending injury to Mets phenom Matt Harvey and eventual shutdown of Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez.
In his latest, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com broke down the NL MVP race and had this to say about Kershaw’s chances:
Voters have become less swayed by win-loss records in recent years, so Kershaw’s 14-8 record shouldn’t affect his candidacy much one way or another. His biggest obstacle is history: Since Bob Gibson and Denny McLain captured MVP awards in 1968, baseball has had 89 MVP winners (including co-winners Willie Stargell and Keith Hernandez in 1979). Only six of those 89 recipients were pitchers, and Verlander, Roger Clemens and Vida Blue were the only starters.
What also has hurt Kershaw’s chances at a Cy Young have been his past two starts against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium and Rockies at Coors Field.
Kershaw pitched 5.2 innings against the Cubs and while he only gave up one run, he definitely didn’t have his best stuff. Meanwhile over the weekend, Kershaw had arguably his worst outing as he allowed 11 hits and five runs in just five innings against the Rockies.
While it could be a case of him being tired, manager Don Mattingly has shuffled the rotation in order to give him, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco ample rest with one towards the playoffs.
Regardless, Kershaw’s incredible 2013 season will net him the NL Cy Young award and hopefully he’ll be taking home more hardware come October.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about the Michael Young trade!