The list of things making the Dodgers hideous situation a depressing American tragedy is long and distinguished. For every ZOMG they owe Marquis Grissom HOW MUCH there is a real, human, story.
Somewhere below the bottom of the victim list sits Clayton Kershaw, whose emergence as a legit ace sits behind Matt Kemp’s bounce back season and the Dodgers bouncing paychecks in needle-moving Dodgers news. Amid the fiduciary horror show, Kershaw is pitching himself into the “best NL lefty” conversation at the ripe old age of 23.
Kershaw already posted 3.4 wins above replacement in 2011, tossing 116 innings of 2.50 FIP ball. His strikeouts are high as always, just under 10 per 9 innings. Through the early stages of his career, Kershaw battled control problems, with walks and pitch counts preventing him from going deep into games.
In 2011, the walks are better than ever at 2.5 per 9. A more efficient version of an already excellent pitcher? Sounds like a recipe for success?
Guess what, he IS successful! He went the distance for the second consecutive outing on Sunday, allowing just two run on six hits. In his last two starts, the young lefty has 22 strikeouts against just 1 walk in, um 18 innings. He’s been every bit as good as Justin Verlander in June, and that dude’s off his ass right now.
Cole Hamels is the officially sanctioned National League left-hander of Getting Blanked but Kershaw’s age makes him a very, very attractive player. There isn’t a single red flag among his impressive numbers this year, this just a player who made improvements and is ready to dominate.