Clayton Kershaw is Ready for the 1927 Yankees

Breaking in Surprise, Arizona: Bring on the Cubs!  Bring on Team Puerto Rico! Heck, bring on the martians. You name the opponent. Clayton Kershaw is officially ready for anybody or anything facing him in the batter’s box.

Clayton Kershaw went up against the Texas Rangers today and completely dominated them for six innings. He gave up just two hits, walked none, and struck out eleven on 92 pitches.

Kershaw started off strong, striking out five of the first six batters he faced. His curveball, named Public Enemy Number One by the venerable Vin Scully, was a thing of beauty today. It dropped out of the sky and plopped into the strike zone as batters stood hypnotized and frozen. Adrian Beltre literally danced backward out of the batter’s box when faced with its high rainbow arc.

Kershaw relied on his defense through the third and fourth innings, and the boys behind him did not disappoint. There weren’t many spectacular plays made, but that’s because Kershaw’s pitching allowed mostly soft grounders and routine fly balls.

In the fifth and sixth innings Kershaw returned to the strike out and picked up the final bulk of his Ks.

ESPN’s Buster Olney interviewed Kershaw when he came off the mound. One of Olney’s questions was what did Kershaw learn from being on the disabled list last season? Here’s what he said: “I learned that it sucks to be on the DL. I’m going to try not to do that again.”

As of now, The greatest pitcher in baseball looks plenty healthy and ready to go.

Bonus notes:

Logan Forsythe (batting lead off) and Chase Utley (batting second) combined for a one-two punch in the first inning. Forsythe rapped out a single and Utley provided a no doubt about it home run to right field that gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead before the seats were warm.

Yasiel Puig came up big with two runners in scoring position. He worked the count full and then skillfully punched a line drive single to right that scored both runners. When the Rangers muffed the throw to first, Puig was alert and fast enough to take second base.

Andrew Toles then followed with a sharp hit to score Puig and put the Dodgers ahead 6-0.

Puig Learning Curve Part Two: Yasiel later came up with bases loaded and two out. The Rangers pitched him right by the book – low and away, low and away. Unfortunately he fell into bad habits chasing both pitches despite their sailing a mile off the plate. He then struck out on a fast ball just above his belt. Sigh.

Chase Utley played first base and Logan Forsythe took on the hot corner today.

More positives: Grant Dayton pitched a one, two, three inning, Andrew Toles had a double, and Rob Segedin had an eighth inning home run.

BTW, the Dodgers won 10-2.



Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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62 thoughts on “Clayton Kershaw is Ready for the 1927 Yankees

    1. He will make the team by default because Ethier most likely will not be ready for opening day. Toles will platoon with Gutierrez and SVS……Kersh looked great..Whole team played well today. And Chris Taylor to me has won the super sub spot.

      1. Michael

        Toles might have got a place on the roster, because of Ethier being out, but you can’t take away, from how he has been playing lately, as well, as his performance, last year.

        He got a two out big hit, and RBI, that the hitters in front of him, couldn’t deliver.

        1. MJ, He has played well the last couple of days and he brings speed to the equation, BUT, the fact of the matter is, he could have hit 600 this spring and he still would have been starting the season in OKC if Ethier was healthy. Why? Because the team is only going to carry 5 outfielders, and he at this point in time is # 6 on that list, He might even be #7. Because if Thompson were totally ready, there would be a real tussle for that LF job. Puig got a big hit too. But the fact remains that not much credence is placed on spring performance unless there is a logjam and they look for someone to step up. Toles like SVS has options remaining, and this FO loves guys with options. Now they could change their mind and send SVS down. But since he plays first base also, and is in reality the only backup for Gonzo, he, like Gutierrez makes the team. Gutierrez is basically here to hit lefty’s, and his primary job will be to do that in the late innings with the occasional start here and there most likely in LF>

          1. Michael

            Take a look at the the number of hits, he has gotten in spring trading, and the amount of games, he has played in.

            And I am not counting the balls, he has hit hard.

            Thompson is a rightie, and that is what both Gutierrez and Scott are, so there is that too, so Thompson wouldn’t be competing against Toles.

            And yes Puig got a big hit too.

            I wasn’t talking about Puig, not getting a hit in the clutch.

            I was thinking about Joc, and Grandal.

          2. MJ, I get what you are saying, BUT, if Ethier were healthy, Toles would be on his way to OKC. That is the point, nothing about how he is doing this spring would change that fact. He is a good player, but look at Eibner, he hit over .300 this spring, has 2 homers, which is 2 more than Toles has, and he was sent down. It comes down to numbers, and they are not going to carry more than 5 outfielders, and I could even see that number at 4. If they carry 2 supersubs, which I doubt. Joc is not having a great spring average wise, but he is working on an entirely new batting stance and approach at the plate, and he leads the team in HR’s with 5. Look at the entire starting 8, and nobody on that list besides Joc has more than 2. I have seen guys hit almost 500 in spring and go to the minors…..last one I remember was somebody named Puig, who hit close to 500 in the 2013 spring training. Toles is speedy, and a decent not great defender. He does not look at all comfortable in RF, which is where I have seen him misplay several balls this spring. He is a slap hitting speedy outfielder. But that does not change FACTS. And the fact is the only reason he will break camp with the big club is that Ethier will either be on the DL, or in extended spring training. Next year after Andre is gone, different story. There are 9 outfielders on the 40 man roster. he is #6 on that depth chart. SVS will stay with the big club unless they decide to give him steady at bats at OKC, but then he blocks the 3 kids that will be down there. So he is in the bigs, or they release him.

  1. Can anyone out there give me a wag on the 2017 OKC starting rotation to begin the season… It will be a helluva group to say the least

    1. Stewart, Oaks, Wood, if he does not break this rotation, Stripling, Urias for a little while. Alvarez, Sborz could even fit in there. He has looked good in spring.

  2. I read this a few weeks ago:

    This is how powerful Clayton Kershaw is, and the primary reason we are favored. We have the best staff and the Padres have the worst. But if Kershaw pitched for the Padres?

    The trade with Miami for Kendrick is revisited there.and the Atlanta trade. Ouch.

    I am with those that wished he had more reliable help. Hey, maybe it works out. If not? Another prime Kershaw year passes. It’s ok because after he flames out, and he will, we have Urias and Beuhler to step in.

      1. NO HE HASN’T!

        I hate this narrative, where people make a mountain RANGE out of a small cadre of bad starts. The playoffs are against the best (more or less) teams, and Kershaw’s been better than people say.

        Let’s go through some of those rare off-peak performances…

        Before that in his starts since 2013, Kershaw has six quality starts — including all three times he has pitched on three days’ rest! (also he allowed one earned run OR LESS in more than half.)

        Since becoming the ace of the Dodger staff, Kershaw has allowed one earned run or less in half of them and allowed three runs or less in all but two of them.

        STOP resonating on the blemishes and letting them overshadow everything else.

        Let’s remember that at the very old age of 21 after allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings in the 2009 NLDS, he pitched in the opening game of the ’09 National League Championship Series. He began with four shutout innings, before allowing five runs in the fifth.

        There was the really bad start in the 2013 NLCS, when Kershaw was charged with seven runs on 10 hits in four innings. But we forget that in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS, Kershaw went into the seventh inning against the Cardinals and shockingly surrendered a 6–2 lead. We also forget that before that he had a 0.47 ERA from his first three starts.

        Are we really going to blame him for Game 2 when he allowed all of three (3!) baserunners, but one scored an unearned run on a passed ball (not a wild pitch) and a sacrifice fly, and the Dodgers lost, 1–0.

        In the Shelby Miller game in 2014, Kershaw allowed two singles that barely eluded infielders, and then a home run.

        In Game 1 of the 2015 NLDS, Kershaw was trailing 1–0 in the seventh inning when the strike zone betrayed him. He walked three batters, and then David Wright singled off reliever Pedro Baez for what proved to be the decisive runs in a 3–1 defeat.

        1. Can say what you want but I’ll keep it simple. In a 5 or 7 game series a ‘non-quality’ start or lose to an inferior pitcher (if/when you pitch well) is huge. There are only so many games….i.e 5 or 7. Very rarely does a team win a series when their ace does not win.

          Last year Max Scherzer went 0-1 in 2 starts against the Dodgers. The Nats lost the series. Did he pitch terrible, no… a 3.75 ERA would show BUT the fact that he did not win either of his 2 games cost the Nats the series.

          In 2014, Scherzer went 0-1 and the Tigers lost the ALDS series.
          In 2013, Scherzer went 0-1 and the Tigers lost the ALCS series. The prior series he went 2-0 and the Tigers advanced.

          Listen closely. Since Kershaw’s age of 21 (which only excludes his abbreviated rookie season at age 20), EVERY series the Dodgers have lost in the post season, Kershaw has had an ‘L’ in the series. In two of the 5 elimination series he lost twice. You can spout off about quality starts but when the Shelby Miller’s and Michael Wacha’s of the world are out pitching you in the post season that does not bold well for the team.

          Very rarely does a team win a series when their ace does not win.

          1. As the Cy Young voting has shown, pitchers are no longer (thankfully) evaluated by wins and losses. I concur in think those results are silly (IMO) to use.

          2. Really? Yeah, you’re right….the top 2 ERA leaders won the award last year….wrong! The top 2 k/9 innings pitchers won the award last year…..wrong!

            Let’s see what the 2 Cy Young winners have in common. Ah, they both won the most games last year. Can you imagine that?

            You mean the objective of the game is still to win. Amazing that the moneyballers haven’t been able to change that yet.

        2. Bluto

          I like Kershaw, and I aprreciate his work ethic.

          But the truth is, Kershaw has had some good games, in the post season, but he has also had, some bad games, and, bad seventh innings, in the post season.

          He did pitch well in that one game you talked about, against the Cardinals in 2014.

          In fact, he hadn’t allowed a hit, right before that bottom of the seventh inning, before those two hitters, got on base.

          But like in most of Kershaw’s seventh innings that have hurt him in the post season, he gave up a HR, and the lead.

          Not only does Roberts need to know when to take Kershaw out in the seventh inning, when someone gets on base, Kershaw also needs to also know, when to come out.

          Sorry the strike zone doesn’t betray, Kershaw.

          Kershaw is going to get more calls at the plate, then most pitchers.

          Not only because he is always around the plate, but because of his rep, and his three Cy Young Awards.

          In then one series against the Cardinals, we didn’t have anyone in the bullpen, that could get the ball, to Kenley, so that is a factor too.

          And I certainly don’t blame Kershaw, for that game, against the Mets.

          That was Mattingly’s fault!

          Everyone watching that game, knew that Baez’s had really bad stats, when facing his first hitter.

          I thought in that series against the Mets, Kershaw had his best performances, in the post season.

          And last year, Kershaw didn’t pitch that well, in his first game against the Nats.

          And although he pitched well, in the first game he pitched against the Cubs, he didn’t pitch well, in the deciding game, against the Cubs.

          His back and coming back late, might have been some of the problem, but he still needs to step up, and to be dominate, in the post season, as he is, in the regular season.

          And that is part of the reason, he is getting paid the big money.

          And these issues in the post season, are why Kershaw’s post season ERA, isn’t that good.

          1. Bluto

            Isn’t a post season performance, more important, especially for a team, that has went to the post season, in the last four years?

          2. ‘He did pitch well in that one game you talked about, against the Cardinals in 2014.

            In fact, he hadn’t allowed a hit, right before that bottom of the seventh inning, before those two hitters, got on base.’—-MJ’s take on the game

            ‘Spinning a one-hitter through six innings in Game 4 of this National League division series on Tuesday, Kershaw came undone in the seventh when Matt Adams’s three-run homer propelled the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory’……from an article about the previous nights game in the NY Times.

            This is the 2nd time that I’ve corrected the premise that he was throwing a no- hitter. Yeah, yeah, I’m being a smart ass. Actually no I’m not but some folks memory of facts is distorted.

    1. Oh hell……Badger, you forgot another 6 future all-stars. Let’s not forget Alvarez, Stewart, Oaks, Sheffield, White and May. I expect other teams to drop out of MLB by that time because the Dodgers will have the 8 best pitchers in the game, well 9 if Kershaw sticks around.

      Am keeping all of these ‘wise’ comments about these great prospects. Stay tune cause this blog is going to be a lot of fun in 2 years. Unfortunately most all of the bloggers will have changed their names by then but oh well.

      Hopefully NO ONE has already forgotten how less than 9 months ago DeLeon was a ‘No Trade’ guy….. a future #2 ONLY because Urias will be the #1, other wise he’s a #1 with any other team. Am I the only person that remembers all of that jibber-jabber?

      1. And as recently as 10 months ago, other names that were always resonating as great Dodgers prospects……Holmes, Cotton, Montas and DeJong. I can vividly recall hearing these names NUMEROUS times of guys ready to arrive in a year or two. And the chant of ‘We’re #1, we’re #1’ resonated loudly on these boards. Now the narrative is, well those guys really weren’t that good. FAZ is smart. Don’t you love it, the same folks that hyped all of them, now are critical of them and looking for things to be critical of. Anyone else see the hypocrisy?

        And now what is happening again……yep you got it, they are reaching lower in the minors and hyping guys. Hang around as this circle will go round and round as there is a draft every year and many players are the next Kershaw and Pujols, well until they aren’t.

        1. Nobody that I read or think has a thoughtful insight has ever said those “guys” (Cotton, JDL, etc.) weren’t and aren’t that good.

          Where are you getting that?

          For me, I think they are all quality prospects, and hope they do really well.

          1. So you don’t read this blog? You post on that site.

            ‘Let’s see where they are now:

            Montas – 8 IP, 6H, 1 BB, 9 K, 1.13 ERA – Looks to be a very good reliever if he can stay healthy
            Cotton – 11 IP, 7 Hits, 9 BB, 12 K, 6.55 ERA – Yawn!
            Holmes – Nowhere to be found – Zach Lee, Jr. – Not in Big League Camp!
            De Leon – 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 17.18 ERA, ouch!’

            The person that typed this was the biggest mouth hyping a couple of these players. Talked about JDL being untouchable. Was the first to hype Cotton. Now they don’t fit his narrative. Total Hypocrisy.

          2. Oh yeah.

            He’s a blowhard though, hard to take what he says as either:

            1. The gospel
            2. Indicative of a large swath of fans.

          1. Thank you Michael… point of referencing the names I did is because someone that posts here and on the other site had mentioned those 6 plus Urias and Buehler of which Badger had already pointed out.

            I’m hanging onto these ‘intelligent’ posts about these great prospects.

            But yeah, I could add Oaks and Sborz to that list but in my little bet those 2 were not mentioned.

        1. Thank you. At least you remember how many times folks (many have left to pat each other on the ass elsewhere) stated that. Now he is ‘not all that.’ 🙂

    1. I’m in Flagstaff right now Artie. Don’t know from Yoga Festival, didn’t see any signs, but sounds interesting. Beautiful day here, sunny, with a lot of snow on the ground. At surgeon’s office with wife. I’ll look for festive evidence when I leave here, after brunch at Martanne’s.

        1. Thanks MJ. We’re ok. Wife has had 3 hand surgeries. Northern Arizona health care sucks. Phoenix is much better. Thank you for your concern.

  3. Kershaw beating the 27 Yankees? Well most of their power was LH. So lets just go with the guys who played over 100 games. Earle Combs hit .356 with 6 homers, and 64 RBI’s. Joe Dugan played 112 games and hit .269 with 2 homers, and 43 RBI’s…Lou Gehrig……155 games, .373 BA, 47 homers and 175 RBI’s and he only struck out 84 times………..Tony Lazzeri….153 games.. .309 BA, 18 homers and 102 RBI’s..Mark Koenig…who was traded to the Cubs in 32, and played against the Yankees in the 32 Series…..285 with 3 homers and 62 RBI’s. Bob Muesel .. .337 , 8 homers and 103 RBI’s in 135 games….and the big guy, Babe Ruth.. .356 BA.. 60 homers and 164 RBI’s in 151 games, and he and Gehrig both walked over 100 times and struck out less than 90. Ruth’s OBP was 486 and he slugged 772. Gehrig’s OBP was 474 and he slugged 765. So you have 4 guys with over 100 RBI’s and 339 of those between 2 hitters who did not strike out much. I think CK would really have his work cut out for him against that team. Not saying he would not win, but it would be the game of his life.

    1. Hell, I could beat the ’27 Yankees. I could blow my 65 mph fastball by every one of them. Dig ’em up then line ’em up.

      Too much?

      Prospects? Again with the prospects. Our top 10 look like Major Leaguers to me. White, Oaks, Sborz, and Abdullah ain’t on that list so until they are trade them for Hamels – and/or Artietta and plug him in behind Kershaw.

      1. Hell so could I…..and mine touches about 48. Bad elbow and all. Prospects as you well know are just that until they become certified big leaguers. How many so called prospects have actually made the team and had an impact? A few, that is true, but the majority get their cup “o ” java in the bigs and sink into obscurity. Remember that kid Schaffer that the Braves had? He was supposed to be their CF for years. Last time I saw him he was trying to get to the majors as a pitcher in the Dodger organization. The list is long. I hope that maybe 4 or 5 of these guys the Dodgers have make an impact down the line. Even those who have can’t miss tags miss sometimes…….

        1. Badger and Michael, I think you guys are right, you both could beat the 27 Yankees.

          But I can’t line them up, because they are six feet down now!

          1. Yeah MJ, we figured that out…….but that’s cool. Pitching against that squad would be a blast.

        2. How many? I’d say 10%, with Seager being the best big deal since Kershaw. Next might be Urias, then Bellinger then Buehler with Verdugo mixed in there with Alvarez after all of them. I don’t know who might step up after or even with those guys but my gut tells me keep the 10%, develop the 90% and trade them for professional pieces that fit here and there. I think we did that with Forsythe, attempted to do it with Hill (I don’t think it worked) and it could very well be we do it again with teams like the A’s and Ray’s come July. This could be a very exciting few years for the Dodgers. I just wish we would have pulled the trigger better the last two years. We didn’t get what we needed, but that bus has left the depot. We do have some very interesting talent left here. This year? Maybe. ’18-20? Definitely. No more hair balls like Latos, no more walking wounded like….. you know the list. Get the trades right, no more Arrie Olivera’s and we have what could be a dynasty.

  4. Someone recently posted here about Trump being a “do something” President.

    Today’s actions make me a little in awe about how Pelosi was able to wrangle the entire Democratic caucus to pass ACA, as flawed as that bill is/was/will be

    1. Johnny

      I am watching a show right now, that is verifying everything you wrote.

      But I give most of the credit to the people who went to those meetings, with there local congressmen, to make sure, they didn’t lose there insurance.

      This last presidential election results, has stimulated the people to get out there, and do something!

      1. Please gang, no more politics’ . I get enough of that crap on Facebook. 10 days til opening day..lets enjoy the moment.

      2. MJ
        I think that it was the previous elections that
        stimulated people want to get out there and do something
        i.e. get rid of the freeloading invaders, American dollars and jobs for American citizens

    2. Johnny: “Someone recently posted here about Trump being a “do something” President.

      Today’s actions make me a little in awe about how Pelosi was able to wrangle the entire Democratic caucus to pass ACA, as flawed as that bill is/was/will be”.

      Not as hard as you might think. Nancy just told the Dims “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It”. The ENTIRE Democratic caucus thinking, “Jeez, Nancy is our leader and the second smartest woman in the world, right after Crooked Hillary” marched in lockstep to screw the rest of us. If you’re a Dimocrat, you might take solace in the fact the Dim caucus excluded themselves from Obozocare.

      I am happy Ryan’s Obozocare Lite went down in flames. Get the government turds out of our healthcare!

      1. I think Johnny’s point was that she got it done, not about the merits of the bill.

        Sadly Boxout, for better or worse Government is part of healthcare for now going forward. That’s probably a good thing, because as an irrational market without government the costs would never come down.

        I’ve met Pelosi twice, she’s quite charming. Her politics are a little too lefty for me, but she’s a very nice person.

        1. I see I didn’t edit. Basically I’m sick of MJ’s political B.S.
          Her political posts are like listening to an actual post (fence post)
          Johnny? Who the f##k is Johnny?

          1. Before Obamacare I was paying around 700 a month for Health insurance, this year it’s 1979.00 a month. That’s just one of my issues with the prior administration. If the government could stay out of it and I didn’t have to pay for maternity and such for people who are scamming this country’s resources (and don’t even want to be Citizens), I might be a little more tolerant.

  5. Let’s talk depth!

    RHP Brock Stewart received cortisone shot in addition to shoulder strengthening program. Looks like his season won’t start until May, and Ethier looks to also start on the DL. With Urias staying in Spring Training, the big remaining questions are, I think:

    1 of Kiké/Taylor/Culberson – I figure Kike, but this is tough.
    1 of SVS/Segedin – no clue.
    1 of Barnes/Wilson – Not really a battle much less a question
    1 of Ryu/Wood – I think Wood, but it’s a harder question than I anticipated.
    1 of Toles/Trayce – The team is going to need another LHB in the OF to offset Joc, thus Toles I presume.

    In the ‘Pen we know we have:
    Jansen, Romo, Dayton, Stripling.Baez. I’d say Avilan and Morrow?

    1. I think Taylor over Kike, SVS because he plays 1st and can back up A-Gone, Barnes because he is the obvious choice, but Wilson has looked good. Wood/Ryu depends on how Ryu looks his next couple of starts. He has been one of the sharper pitchers this spring. Toles makes it because he is LH, it would not even be a consideration if Ethier were healthy. OF will be Pederson, Puig, Toles, SVS and Gutierrez. As for the BP, I do not see Baez making the team out of ST since he still has not thrown in a game. So I am thinking Dayton and Liberatore as the lefty’s, Romo, Morrow, Jansen and Stripling the RH. Whoops, 1 more righty, either Fields or the FO’s fair haired wonder…..Hatcher. They could go with 3 lefty’s though and throw Avilan in there.

        1. I didn’t know that. I just read here that Ryu’s contract doesn’t allow him to be sent to the minors without his consent. That post seems to have disappeared, but I think that’s right, and it definitely is a factor.

          I haven’t watched one spring training game, so I don’t know diddly about SVS’ bat. I do know that Segedin took grounders at 2B?!?!?!?!

        2. Yes, and I do think that might turn out to be a factor in their thinking…….but right now, the other two are cheaper options and they like that. They could DFA Avilan and trade him….

    2. Bluto

      Nice write up.

      You said that Segedin doesn’t have good bat speed.

      Who do you think has better bat speed, Segedin or Scotty?

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