Clayton Kershaw is good. Studies have been done, scouts have been asked, fantasy players have benefitted from his performances, this is pretty much confirmed by now. Since you’re curious about how the possibly compromised Madison Bumgarner will do against the ace of the Dodgers. The embedding is admittedly a little messy since I haven’t been doing this for a while and I’m lucky I’m able to do this post while my kid is awake. Here are the lines from Kershaw’s appearances (2008 was a relief appearance) against the Giants. Not a lot to look forward to if you’re a fan of the Giants offense.
2009 — I’m pretty sure I was at this game. It was not a fun game for the Giants offense.
2010 — good every time, but Giants won the title
2011 — one non-Kershaw start, but the others the Giants other three games had a combined 2 runs of offense
2012 — Kershaw was the Giants’ daddy
2013 — average earned runs per start: 1.5. The Giants still managed to win two games.
2014 — Kershaw allows three earned runs in May, gets beat. Otherwise, classic Kershaw.
2015 — Another non-Kershaw-type start in May, Giants post a winning record against Kershaw
2016 — clearly the pattern is the Giants will go undefeated against Kershaw, scoring 1 or 2 runs in every other start except for May, where he will allow 4 runs.
Wednesday night, Clayton Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter, and the second no-hitter for the Dodgers of the season. This performance was easily more dominant than Josh Beckett, as Kershaw compiled fifteen strikeouts (a career high) and none of the twenty-eight hitters he faced received a free pass to first. The lone baserunner came on Hanley Ramirez‘s throwing error on a slow ground ball. This play brought back memories of Juan Uribe in Jonathan Sanchez‘s no-hitter, which was also a twenty-eight batter no-walk-no-hitter. MLB has uploaded a lot of videos from last night’s performance, so if you need them, just come back to this post to see what you need to see, because last night was certainly a performance for the ages.
Vin Scully’s call on the game, a treasure in itself, no-hitter or not. The clip includes Hanley Ramirez’s error in the seventh, a play which was similar to the one he made earlier in the game.
Clayton Kershaw’s interview with Alanna Rizzo, complete with gatorade bath, dancing, and bubbles.
Clayton Kershaw talking about his no-hitter in their post-game press conference.
Clayton’s wife, Ellen Kershaw, talks a little bit about the no-hitter. My wife loves her because “she looks like she’s twelve… like me.” Didn’t know the woman with Ellen in the stands was Chad Billingsley‘s wife. Mrs. Kershaw seems adorable.
In case you want the video of only the twenty-seventh out.
MLB.com put some video together of the Beckett and Kershaw no-no’s.
Some of Clayton’s teammates gave their thoughts. I felt the most meaningful words came from A.J. Ellis, his battery-mate, and close friend.
After years of watching Clayton Kershaw, baseball fans know this is the kind of performance he is capable of, and it’s a wonder that it’s taken this long for him to be able to achieve this accomplishment with the help of all his teammates and coaches. No hitters and perfect games involve a little luck going your way, some more lucky than others. This was not one of the luckier ones, this happened to be more of the ones that we are lucky to have watched. A great performance by a stellar talent and from all reports I’ve heard, an outstanding human being. Congratulations, Clayton Kershaw.
Clayton Kershaw will be a favorite for the NL Cy Young, and he was on the losing end of a miserable outing on Friday night in Game 6 against the St. Louis Cardinals. For a guy that had a FIP below 2.50 for September and at 2.20 for the second half and had struck out more than 40% of the lefties he faced in 2013, you regularly expect excellence out of him, and rightly so, I believe. Maybe the innings caught up with him. Maybe it was one of those days where he was off his game and he faced a team that was ready for the punishing like they always seem to be against Matt Cain of our beloved Giants. Whatever it was, it didn’t feel right.
I hold Kershaw in the highest of lights for pitchers, considering him the best pitcher in all of baseball. I love watching him dominate when he’s doing his work, I’m even a little awestruck when he’s on against the Giants, or even just having a slightly bad day and only going seven innings and striking out five. Really it is no wonder there were rumors of him getting big money before the regular season started. His fastball sits around 92-93 with pretty great command, his slider gives you a different look of a good pitch, and his curveball is straight out of baseball heaven with the numbers to prove it. That repertoire can go up with the best of them, and has been successful, too.
When the Cardinals went up 1-0, 2-0 in Game 6, that was exciting. It could be all Michael Wacha needed, I thought and wondered, and the wasn’t necessarily a game that was out of reach, even for the bats of the Dodgers. Then the Cardinals went up 4-0, and even though it was only the third inning, I worried that this game was over before a third of it had been completed. Kershaw had thrown 81 pitches through three, there was no way he’d be able to go six. The Cards would eventually double the score plus one, and within that time Kershaw was pulled, a couple relievers used, and then it was over. If only the game had stayed closer, and Kershaw hadn’t been lit up, then this would have been a bowing out I would not have felt so odd over, but in the end, would I rather have this 9-0, STL NL Champions in 6, than possibly start the game over and see if the game could be closer?
Now my attention turns to rooting for the American League, because nobody wants to see the Cardinals win besides people connected with the team and their fans (really, what sort of “best fans” call themselves “best fans in baseball?”). I do wonder if the media will do another sketch featuring a Red Bird defending the trophy against a team with a payroll $30-$40 million more than themselves. Sure, it’s not around $100 million more like the Dodgers were compared to the Cards payroll, but doesn’t every team that lacks have the farm depth to make a team have to do some buying to field a competitive team?
Game 6 of the ALCS between the Tigers and the Red Sox is tonight at 5PM on FOX.
I’ve been mostly quiet on the internet today due to some computer gaming, a habit that’s been developing this week, but will probably die out next week because I’ll start to be busying myself with other, more career-minded business. The world moves on, and the lineups were posted for tonight’s game, with the Dodgers noting Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis were injured, but available tonight, and not in the starting lineup. Then Adrian Gonzalez get scratched from the lineup with neck pain, but unfortunately the Dodgers are allowed to replace him. Therefore, the lineup for the visiting Dodgers look like this:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 4, 2013
Meanwhile, in the Champions corner, Barry Zito and company lookalike this:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Pagan cf, Scutaro 2b, Sandoval 3b, Posey c, Pence rf, Arias ss, Torres lf, Belt 1b, Zito p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 3, 2013
Also important to note that the Giants finally sent down the very much offensively-struggling Hector Sanchez, and called up the doing-well-in-Fresno Francisco Peguero. Jeremy Affeldt also was taken off the disabled list today. You might be aware that tonight is Metallica Night at AT&T Park, and while Brandon Belt‘s mug with a wig has been floating around the tubes, a Panda picture surfaced:
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 4, 2013
Game time is 7:15PM PST, and should be a good challenge against Kershaw. I won’t remind you how it went last time they saw him.
The Dodgers come to San Francisco this weekend for a three-game series against the Giants where there will be a license plate frame giveaway to the first 20,000 fans on Saturday, and a Sergio Romo Gnome on Sunday to the first 30,000. The matchups tell us this is whom we should expect to see on the bump this weekend:
Raise your hand if you thought of Zito, Vogelsong, and Cain, Zito would have the best ERA going into May of the three. The stock on Zito was pretty high going into this regular season, but not so much that you thought he’d outdo them by almost double. As Giants fans, you know what you’re going to get out of Zito, Vogey, and Cainer, but do you know what you’re getting out of Kershaw (yes), Lilly (lol), and Ryu (did you know the media guide now says to say his name as “Roo”)?
Kershaw has been harassing the Giants since 2008. How much harassing? Let this table show you:
I miss when Clayton Kershaw wasn’t a starter, because even though I’m sure he’d shut down the Giants 1-2 innings at a time, at least he wouldn’t be doing it 6-9 innings at a time as a starter, which he kinda does these days. He averages at least 7.0 IP in every start against the Giants in his career. That’s insane. I’m not sure I’ll get to watch Friday’s game, and I’m not sure it’d make me that happy to anyway. But it is Barry Zito. Somehow, he has done some crazy things lately, and do you wanna be the one that bets against crazy?
Here’s Kershaw’s pitch usage for this year
Ted Lilly… hasn’t been good. He was tolerable in 2012, but so far, nothing to report. The Rockies teed off on him in his last start, and unless he gets ruled out due to injury, this is who I’ll get to see pitch for the Dodgers in person on Saturday.
Low velocity everything, so Lilly does not have that big of a margin for error, and as you can guess, he’s not been pitching within that margin, and so he’s been getting hit. The Dodgers are probably happy they have a day off tonight and a Kershaw start tomorrow so the bullpen will be well rested for Saturday’s game.
Hyun-jin Ryu is still the new guy on the block, but he’s actually ahead of Clayton Kershaw in terms of percentage of strikeouts, which doesn’t really make anybody who’s an opponent feel better about facing him, but at least the Giants have seen him once before. It was that ten hit game, and maybe there were some first-game jitters for Ryu, but he’s certainly not the reliever we thought he’d be at worst, and definitely looks like he belongs in the Dodgers rotation.
Opponents are still getting used to his four pitches, and I’ll admit I’m still getting used to what he’s putting out there despite having the TV on to the Dodgers whenever they’re on down here in sunny Southern California. Always seem to hear from pitching veterans though that a good fastball-changeup combo will do you good, and hey, throw in a third pitch in his slider that’s major league average, and there’s a starter for you, gosh darnit.
All series with the Dodgers are always spirited, but if you make your way to the yard, make sure you play nice!
This morning’s news from LA Times beat writer Dylan Hernandez:
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 21, 2013
There has been speculation even before now that Chad Billingsley might need Tommy John surgery, and if that turns out to be the case, chances are he’s done until 2014. Stephen Fife has been called back up to the big league team to help fill the gap for now.
Remember when the Dodgers had something like eight starting pitchers? It was pretty funny, especially because people knew the Dodgers would have a tough time getting rid of the extra pitchers that might be able to help out a second-tier major league roster. But they had depth! That depth can come in handy if there’s an injury, or somebody needs to make some mechanical issues. The original roster of pitchers looked as such:
Now, Greinke’s out after his unforgettable shoulder drop vs. Carlos Quentin, Bills could be done for a couple weeks, or a whole year, Harang was traded to the Rockies for Ramon Hernandez (and then Harang was traded to Seattle), and Lilly should actually be coming up this week to give the Dodgers a fifth pitcher. Oh, and Capuano also has a strained left calf, so he’s on the 15-day DL. Funny how baseball can work, it can give so much, and it can certainly taketh away so much more.
Questions are coming around from Dodger fans to their favorite Dodger bloggers when they can expect from the estimated time of arrival for their top prospect Zach Lee (a break from all the Yasiel Puig questions!), and the consensus seems to be that it’ll be later (2014) rather than sooner (2013) that he’ll be able to contribute to the club. This of course assumes Lee is still a Dodger in 2014 and not in somebody else’s minor league system. I’m not sure if fretting about other former prospect Allen Webster, whom was called up to pitch for Boston today, is all that worthwhile, since he did help LA land Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford (and those other guys). Giants fans will show no sympathy for that “should have kept” complaining.
The Dodgers rotation will be interesting to watch in the next month, as their one ace works, Ryu has looked decent so far, Beckett doesn’t, Capuano will probably be pulling his weight for the most part, and Lilly is likely going to be getting calls for the DFA from fans. It’s gone from having two strong figures standing tall to protect the glory of Los Angeles to having Kershaw and him wondering what they’re going to get out of the other four, hoping things don’t go as bad as most baseball fans think they will.
While I was workin on the railroad all the live-long day (or like, about a third of it), MLB was celebrating its second of three Opening Day, and things were happening. Baseball things. I didn’t get to watch the team I support most play its game, but they’ll have 161 games left that I might get to watch in parts or in its entirety, so it’s not all that bad. If it seems like I’m biased towards good pitching and home runs, and Buster Posey, well… you’d be right.
We’ll start off with Bryce Harper hitting multiple dingers against the Marlins
Really, this kid is so incredibly good. He is someone that has brought himself into the game so young, baseball enthusiasts will talk about this kid for years to come, no matter what happens with his career.
Justin Upton begins his Atlanta tenure with a bang
Did I mention I have him tabbed to be my NL MVP this year?
Collin Cowgill had an Opening Day salami
Gave the projected bottom-half of the division Mets beat the projected bottom-half of the division Padres
Speaking of not projecting to win, the Chicago Cubs had a huge blast from Anthony Rizzo
I wanted to link more from this game and the other Chicago game, but nothing else was embeddable 😦
Give credit where credit is due, Clayton Kershaw kept the Giants bats quiet, and his complete game shutout of the Champs reminded everybody that he never minds squaring off against his NorCal rivals, and if you can keep an open mind if you’re a Giants fan, he is an amazing pitcher to watch
Also, Kershaw said he didn’t want to discuss a contract extension during the season, and it sure didn’t get done, so how will that affect his price tag going forward? To those yelling that it won’t matter, we don’t know it can’t keep them from getting a decent set-up reliever in the future.
Baseball has only had one walk-off this season, and it comes courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers
MLB’s being a little slow to embed a lot of different videos, so hopefully they’ll speed that up in the future, because who doesn’t like embedding stuff to their website to
generate site hits let people watch over and over!