Nowadays, appreciating Hall of Fame-caliber talent is a must, as we never know who and what the voters in Cooperstown will be thinking. Only a few of the active players in Major League Baseball are surefire electees.
However, one more man, a lefty from Dallas, Texas, can be considered an assured Baseball Hall of Fame inductee. And he remains in the prime of his career.
Whenever Clayton Kershaw is on the hill, I pause and appreciate his immense talent. It can be some random, late-July, late-night game against a last-place team, and I will remain glued to my TV. He is truly one of the most captivating pitchers in MLB history.
Wednesday night, I opted to turn on a Kershaw appearance– a 4-2 Los Angeles Dodgers win against the first-place Colorado Rockies — over NBA and NHL playoff games. The 29-year-old struck out 10 in seven innings of work, allowing just two earned runs to improve to 10-0 in his last 11 Dodger Stadium starts.
During one portion of the match (the second through sixth innings), Kershaw retired 12 consecutive batters. Due to this, his strikeouts-to-walks ratio (K/BB) improved to a borderline superhuman 15.69 over the past two seasons.
His 32 strikeouts this season is an MLB-high, which puts him on pace to lead the majors in strikeouts for the fourth time in his 10 seasons. He’s so entertaining.
National League MVP in 2014, three-time Cy Young Award winner, four-time ERA title winner, Gold Glove winner in 2011, pitching Triple Crown winner in 2011 — he’s just spectacular. Perhaps this will be the year he’ll finally get to pitch in the World Series — there isn’t anyone else I’d want on the mound for my team.
Every five days, you’re seeing one of the greatest pitchers to ever hold a baseball mystify the majority of the batters who muster up the courage to step into the box. Imagine if you were watching Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, or Christy Mathewson pitch in the 21st century; they’d probably look a lot like Kershaw does.
It was former AL Rookie of the Year and World Series champion Lou Piniella who said, “You have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” The last thing Kershaw needs to cement his already-glorious legacy is a ring, and following Piniella’s philosophy is the key.