Clayton Kershaw delivered a sparkling performance for the Dodgers on Thursday — some might even call it vintage. The 32-year-old ace tossed 7 innings in Seattle, allowing one run while striking out 11 Mariners. Along the way, Kersh passed Hall of Famer Don Drysdale for second on the Dodgers all-time strikeout list.
Even though he cemented himself further into the lore of the legendary franchise, the accomplishment doesn’t have him ready to rest on his laurels. In fact, thanks to his fastball renaissance, he seems even further from hanging up his spikes.
“Your stuff sometimes comes and goes,” said Kershaw. “But your ability to compete and your ability to manipulate your way through games and figure out different ways to get outs, ultimately that’s what wins games. I’m thankful that my stuff has ticked up this year and I’m going to pitch as long as I’m having fun. I’m having a ton of fun and I don’t see that stopping anytime soon.”
He going to pitch as long as he’s having fun… cool.
Notably, during the COVID shutdown period, Kershaw mentioned on multiple occasions that he didn’t realize how much he would miss the game being away from it for four-plus months. Early on in the shutdown, Clayton jumped onto a Zoom call with SportsNet LA’s John Hartung where he said “I miss baseball.”
On the season now, Kershaw sports a 3-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in 4 starts. MLB.com’s David Adler put together an in-depth piece on the resurgent fastball for number 22; a fastball that is showing nearly unprecedented new life after several seasons of decline.
Clayton Kershaw, fastballs at 92.0+ mph:
— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) August 21, 2020
Kershaw is one of the many that visited the data-driven Driveline Baseball over the winter. In talking about his experience with Driveline, he said that it’s not all weighted baseballs and credited the data for getting his body more in tune to deliver added velocity.
Clayton will be a Dodger until at least 2022, but at only 32, it seems like now he has no plans to hang up the spikes anytime soon.