Sunday, August 9, 2015
KERSHAW IS DARN CLOSE TO TERRIFIC
Clayton Kershaw is NL’s Pitcher of the Month. What a difference an All-Star break makes. Clayton Kershaw—last year’s NL Cy Young and MVP award winner—got off to a rocky start this season only winning one game in his first seven starts while posting a 4.26 ERA. Normally a shoe-in for the All-Star game, Kershaw didn’t even make the cut this year until he was asked to replace an injured Max Scherzer.
But since the break, Kershaw seems to be returning to form. He’s gone on a 37-inning scoreless streak which had given him a 3-0 record and microscopic 0.27 ERA in the month of July. His performance has earned him the NL’s Pitcher of the Month honors over teammate Zack Greinke, who has been the savior of the Dodgers rotation this year. Sure, Friday the streak ended... in August, read HERE, but dominance is Kershaw for the most part.
Watching Kershaw struggle through the early part of the season was somewhat painful. I’ve seen Kershaw speak in person and he is someone who takes losing harder than anyone in baseball. The guy is a true competitor and a class act on and off the field.
I wanted to chalk Kershaw’s losing streak up to the lack of run support from his teammates—the Dodgers are under performing bums and never seem to put big runs on the board when he’s on the hill. But looking at the stats over at Sporting Charts, Kershaw’s 4.25 runs scored per game is on par with the league average and surprisingly, Zack Greinke gets worse run support and has posted a phenomenal season thus far for the boys in blue.
So what’s been Kershaw’s deal? Is he finally showing himself as human? It’s easy to get spoiled by near perfection and Kershaw’s “sub-par” season is one many major leaguers would dream of having. Kershaw also recently missed a start because of a sore hip, so maybe the rest has helped his body heal. Whatever the case, it’s great to see Kershaw mowing them down on the mound again. His last outing? Hey... it ain't nothing.
--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
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