We all know how good Clayton Kershaw is, we have the privilege of watching him pitch every 5th day. But how does Kershaw rank among the league’s elite pitchers in terms of his overall greatness? So glad you asked. The following comes from Aaron Gleeman over at NBC Sports Hardball Talk, who takes a look at the ERA leaders in MLB since 2009.
Clayton Kershaw’s latest masterpiece got me thinking about where he ranks among the best pitchers in baseball. And not just this season, but during the past 2-3 years.
In three seasons as a full-time member of the Dodgers’ rotation Kershaw has posted ERAs of 2.79, 2.91, and now 2.72, with 564 strikeouts compared to just 389 hits allowed in 521 total innings.
Here’s how his ERA ranks among all MLB starters with at least 500 innings since 2009:IP ERA Felix Hernandez 640 2.59 Roy Halladay 637 2.60 CLAYTON KERSHAW 521 2.82 Tim Lincecum 574 2.93 Chris Carpenter 564 2.99
Some pretty decent company, huh?
Kershaw is the only guy on that list without a Cy Young award, although with the way he’s pitching that could change this season. When he doesn’t start the Dodgers are 30-47, yet Kershaw is 11-4 with a 2.72 ERA and league-leading 167 strikeouts in 146 innings. Oh, and he’s also 23 years old.
Kershaw has made four starts against the Giants this season and has given up runs in just one of them. He’s also outpitched Lincecum all three times the two have faced each other in their careers. Kershaw leads the majors with 167 strikeouts. He’s gone three straight starts without allowing an earned run, lowering his ERA from 3.23 to 2.72. He’s 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA in nine career starts versus the Giants. (Thanks to Matthew Pouliot also at Hardball Talk for these nuggets of info)
Considering just how lousy the Dodgers have been this season, what Kershaw is doing is considerably more impressive than what Zach Greinke or Felix Hernandez did during their CY Young seasons, in my humble opinion. Dodger fans just have to hope that since the team is more prominent for their off the field mess than their on the field performance, Kershaw’s chances for his first Cy Young aren’t hampered.