The best pitcher in baseball has continued toss gems all season. 4 complete games, 2 shut outs, a no-hitter this season, and a 1.76 ERA, Clayton Kershaw has been lights out this baseball season. Kershaw has been a leader in the clubhouse by example as every 5th day he has completely dominated competition. As he showed the San Francisco Giants as he dominated them for 9 full innings allowing only 3 base runners in a complete game shutout.
The Dodgers seem to absolutely rally around Clayton Kershaw. Once on the mound, it is a completely epic beauty watching the 26-year-old perform works of art (and surgery) versus opposition. Kershaw’s 12-2 record is clear indication how well the Dodgers rally around his quality starts and efforts on the mound. Clayton Kershaw is 9-0 with an 0.94 ERA in last 10 starts, something only Don Sutton has done for the Dodgers. Kershaw has well established himself as a team leader on and off the field.
That being said, perhaps it is time to monitor Clayton Kershaw’s innings on the mound. The southpaw has pitched 4 complete games this season and pitched a total of 112.1 innings this season….and we’re still in July. Although Kershaw has proven that he can go the distance, perhaps limiting his innings and forcing the bullpen to be more accountable would be wise. Kershaw’s value to the Dodgers is of utmost importance. And he will likely be called upon in October to pitch at least twice if a playoff series goes the distance. A few 6-7 inning starts and perhaps a day off may be suitable in order for Kershaw’s arm to not peak too early….if there is such a thing when it comes to Kershaw.
With the rash of injuries around the league with pitchers as well as the Dodgers history this season with DL visits with Kershaw and Josh Beckett, a watchful eye is necessary. The Dodgers are likely in a tooth and nail battle until the end with the San Francisco Giants. Thus, all hands on deck will be needed healthy in order for the Dodgers to make a deep run in the playoffs as well as make the World Series.
It’s not that Clayton Kershaw isn’t a complete iron man on the mound. He’s shown in his career that he’s fully capable of going the distance and his durability is unquestionable. However, with what Kershaw provides to his team on the mound, the pace he sets for the rest of the rotation, and his complete dominance as a pitcher, he needs rest.
Should the Dodgers limit some of Clayton Kershaw’s innings? Or should they just allow Kershaw to continue his current momentum?