This week we posed the question on Twitter as to who would be in your starting rotation out of all of the quality starting pitchers the Dodgers have sent to the mound over the last 10 years.
Who is your Dodgers All-Decade (2010-2019) starting rotation?
We're looking for good reasons to embed into our article, too!
Let's have some fun. #DistractionsHelp
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) March 18, 2020
After I was asked to put together my own list, it occurred to me very quickly that this is a question that seems easy to answer until you realize you have to rank 4 other guys whose names are not Clayton Kershaw, and the Twitter votes easily support this realization. This is a testament not only to the easy acknowledgment that Kershaw was the best pitcher of the decade in any team, but also to the sheer talent the team has seen in its rotation since 2010.
The votes we received on Twitter were tallied up in a highly scientific manner (and also happen to correspond with my own personal list, though in a slightly different order that I would have chosen: 5 points for every 1st place vote, 4 for every 2nd place, 3 for every 3rd place…you get the idea.
So without further ado, here is a countdown of your 5-man starting rotation from the years 2010-2019:
Number 5 – Rich Hill
The legend aka D. Mountain is a story in himself, and deserves not only a longer post but an entire book…and that’s for his personal story alone. On the mound, the man I affectionately called Richie delivered moments from August 2016 until September 2019 that Dodgers fans will never forget. (and many of us even had the honor of sharing his jersey).
Number 4/3 (tie) – Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu
This isn’t a gimmick. These two finished with exactly the same number of points in all of the votes we received. Most lists saw them finish anywhere from 2nd to 5th, and I’d say a 3rd place tie amongst this group is a fine testament to them both.
I’ll start with Ryu because nostalgia is a powerful drug, and I already miss seeing number 99 in a Dodgers uniform. The 2019 version was among the best we’ve seen from any Dodger this decade, not to mention his HR in the last regular season game of the year that launched Joe Davis and Orel Hershisher (and fans everywhere) out of their seats. Ryu developed into somewhat of a cult hero in LA with his cool mound demeanor and often flawless pitching performances.
Walker Buehler easily makes this list after only having pitched 2 full seasons with the club. We forget how young he is because of all he has done and the fire he has shown since he’s been in the bigs. Some will argue he is the ace now, and I say he will easily be number 1 on our Top 5 of the 2020’s list. He is, quite simply, the future.
Number 2 – Zack Greinke
Any time a player can boast numbers as good as or better than one of the all-time greats, as Greinke did in 2015 when he was part of a wicked 1-2 punch along with Kershaw, that player can count himself among the elite. Greinke was arguably robbed of the NL Cy Young Award that year, and some say he was number 1 in the rotation; I say he was 1a with Clayton a very close 1b.
Number 1 – Clayton Kershaw
Number one in our hearts and on the mound (ok, he’s number 22), and this wasn’t even close. In fact, no one else received any first place votes; he was number 1 on every list we received…including mine, of course. Any reader of Dodgers Nation or follower of mine on Twitter knows that Clayton is the only man for me and my love for him knows no bounds. I adore him more than most members of my family (just kidding, Dad). I’ve never even met him and he’s my favorite human. I have said and will continue to say more words about him, but this piece is supposed to be about the pitching.
I am not here (or qualified) to tell you anything that you don’t already know about arguably the greatest pitcher of our generation and easily the best pitcher of the decade. His accolades are many, his accomplishments too numerous to mention here, his contribution to the organization too valuable to put into words. He’s not done yet, and we saw that out of him in spring training this year. His message is clear without him having to say a word: he still has work to do, and he’s not going anywhere just yet.
It’s so easy and fun to talk and boast about the Los Angeles Dodgers and their long history of stellar pitching. We have been blessed, Dodger fans.