Pitching greatness has been on display this year for the Los Angeles Dodgers as ace Clayton Kershaw has been dominating baseball. With the Dodgers’ rich history of pitching, fans have been accustomed to seeing some of the all-time greats stemming from Brooklyn all the way to Los Angeles.
With the pace Kershaw has set, even after going on the disabled list in the beginning of the season, he is often a major talking point and has become must-see. Kershaw’s dominance on the mound has not only thrust him into the conversation for a third Cy Young Award, but he’s also emerged as an NL MVP candidate.
Bob Gibson was the last NL pitcher to win both the Cy Young and MVP awards in the same season; doing so in 1968.
Dodger greats such as, Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela have ever accomplished the feat. One fan Kershaw has is Gabe Kapler of FOX Sports, who praised the southpaw’s fastball:
One thing that we don’t talk about enough is the rise that he gets on his fastball. When you are standing in the batter’s box, it literally looks like it’s moving up.”
The 26 year old’s devastating fastball, 12-6 curveball, and his newly added slider have left hitters in a daze as they try to figure out how to hit the two-time Cy Young award winner. Since 2001, Kershaw’s WAR is five wins than the next closest pitcher, Cliff Lee.
For Kapler, there’s no doubt as to which awards Kershaw should receive:
This guy is unequivocally the best pitcher in baseball. But if I had my vote right this minute, I’m voting for Clayton Kershaw for MVP and the Cy Young is not even close in the National League.”
While he’s undeniably been impressive, Kershaw has benefited from being compared against banged up competition. Both Andrew McCutchen and Troy Tulowitzki are on the disabled list with Tulowitzki set to miss the remainder of the season.
Kapler also stated if he could start a team with any player, it would definitely be the left-hander and that he has no idea where the Dodgers would be right now had it not been for Kershaw’s spectacular season.
The Dodgers would clearly not be as successful as they’ve been this season had it not been for Kershaw. He is 14-2 with a 1.78 ERA in 19 starts with one no-hitter and five complete games. Kershaw’s next start is set for Aug. 16 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
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