If you thought that Clayton Kershaw was finished as he entered his twelfth season with the Dodgers in 2019 then think again. The Dodgers defeated the New York Mets 9-2 at Citi Field on Friday night as Kershaw notched his fourteenth win of the season tossing 6.1 innings to improve his record to 14-5 in 2019. Kershaw demonstrated that even in his advanced age and twilight of his career that his skills still translate. He can still pitch effectively. He can still give the Dodgers quality starts.
Kershaw has always dominated the Mets. After the win on Friday night, Kershaw is now 10-0 versus New York entering Friday night’s contest carrying a 2.14 career ERA against the Mets before his win on Friday. He’s unbeaten in 15 starts against the Mets which also includes a 4-0 record at Citi Field. The Dodger’s bats got him plenty of support including a pair of home runs from rookies Gavin Lux and Edwin Rios. Kershaw tossed 6.1 innings allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out five against three walks.
Despite his declining velocity Kershaw has managed to turn in a solid campaign in 2019 putting many of his naysayers to rest. Many people believed that Kershaw’s days were numbered, perhaps hinting that his pitching career was coming to an end let alone his days as one of the best pitchers in baseball. However Kershaw has proven them all wrong by using a combination of deceptive arm slots, strong pitch sequencing, impressive command and strong movement. His off-speed pitches, especially his infamous curveball have been his strengths this year.
In Kershaw’s 26 starts this year he has pitched into the sixth inning in all but two of them. Not only that but he’s allowed more than three earned runs in only four of those outings. Kershaw has shown that he is still very durable throwing 165.1 innings. Overall he is 14-5 with a 3.05 ERA and 176 strikeouts against 39 walks. He’s allowed 7.4 hits per nine and has struck out 9.7 per nine while posting just 1.4 walks per nine.
Kershaw has proven that even when facing old age (31 years old) and diminishing velocity that you can still reinvent yourself. That’s exactly what he has done. He’s been very consistent this year and he can still get outs. Other than a couple of bad outings, he’s been very dependable. Surely he’s not as dominant as he was during his peak years. He’s not going to win the Cy Young award this season. But Kershaw can still pitch, and he can still give the Dodgers a solid 6 or 7 innings. That’s all we can ask of him these days.