Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

It’s been 85 starts since Clayton Kershaw was knocked out of a game

On April 16, 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals led 2-1 against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers heading into the fifth inning, then broke the game open with a two-out, three-run home run.

Kershaw, who had been dodging baserunners the entire outing — 11 in 4 2/3 innings — and had reached the 111-pitch mark, was pulled from the game.

He hasn’t been knocked out of a game before the five-inning mark since.

In 85 starts since that day, Kershaw has thrown fewer than five innings only one time, and that was his 2012 Opening Day outing at San Diego, when he pitched three shutout innings before leaving because of the flu (“Kershaw Hurls. Dodgers to victory”).

In fact, the reigning National League Pitcher of the Month has thrown at least six innings in 75 of those 85 starts, including his past 18 in a row. He has gone at least seven innings in 16 of those past 18.

And during that 85-game run? A 2.23 ERA with 609 strikeouts in 605 innings.

Kershaw, as you might have heard by now, is within range of the lowest ERA for a season by a Dodger pitcher since Sandy Koufax, which would be the lowest in Los Angeles Dodger history. What might be lost in that discussion is that because of the different eras, Kershaw is on pace for the best adjusted ERA in Dodger history, dating back to 1901.

He is 25 years old. I hope you are appreciating what you are seeing.

Rk Player ERA+ Year Age Tm IP ERA
1 Clayton Kershaw 191 2013 25 LAD 168.1 1.87
2 Sandy Koufax 190 1966 30 LAD 323.0 1.73
3 Dazzy Vance 190 1928 37 BRO 280.1 2.09
4 Dazzy Vance 189 1930 39 BRO 258.2 2.61
5 Sandy Koufax 186 1964 28 LAD 223.0 1.74
6 Dazzy Vance 174 1924 33 BRO 308.1 2.16
7 Rube Marquard 171 1916 29 BRO 205.0 1.58
8 Orel Hershiser 171 1985 26 LAD 239.2 2.03
9 Kevin Brown 169 2003 38 LAD 211.0 2.39
10 Kevin Brown 167 2000 35 LAD 230.0 2.58
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/6/2013.

Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:15 p.m.
Kershaw CLXXIII: Kershawd Couple


Jansen takes night off, but Paco keeps Dodgers rolling


The Lady Luck vanishes


  1. Sam Sokol

    OMG this has Rule 9(A) written all over it!

  2. Anonymous

    Yep, Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball – although listening to the guys at MLB Network (or it might have been ESPN) the other day, it was between Matt Harvey and some other guy who had pitched lights out for the night…

    Also LAT’D from last post :

    “Joe Kelly will start for the Cardinals and look to repeat his last outing, when he snapped a seven-game skid for St. Louis. Kelly has a 1.49 ERA since June 1, the lowest in the Majors among pitchers with a minimum of 40 innings pitched. Kelly takes a string of 14 2/3 scoreless innings into Tuesday…”

    From this preview of tonight’s game :

  3. Pretty remarkable. Another amazing run for this team that is basically being overlooked due to Roid Rage.

    Also the “Kershaw Hurls…” was one of your better headlines, Jon. ;)

  4. Only a few years ago, I lamented to one of my brothers about how long it’s been since we had a true likely HOFer to watch on the Dodgers. So it’s great to see it playing out now. And I feel especially lucky to have been at one of his early Spring Training games… the one where Vin Scully declared his curve ball “public enemy No. 1.”

    Also, great to see that, by all accounts, Kershaw seems to be a genuinely nice guy on top of it all. What’s not to love?

  5. Anonymous

    Oh, I remember now – it was Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez who was being talked about along with Matt Harvey as the best pitcher in baseball.

  6. Anonymous

    Great post, Jon!

    Totally agree that Dodger fans need to appreciate what Kershaw is doing because he is truly dominant. Very reminiscent of Pedro Martinez during his dominant years. Kershaw is just a cut above everyone else right now.

    Also, the Dodgers need to do everything in their power to win big while they have Kershaw performing at this level. That’s why I love everything the new Dodger owners have done since taking over. From trading for Hanley and then trading for AGon, Crawford, Beckett and Punto to signing Puig, Ryu and Greinke.

    Ownership has been very aggressive in upgrading the talent on the roster and it looks like that talent is really starting to gel now. Its just a shame Kemp injured his ankle because he looked like he may also have been coming around as well.

    Bottom line is the Dodgers need to try and win now. When you have an ace like Kershaw, you need to get him to the postseason because as we’ve seen with Hershiser, sometimes they can really carry a team through the playoffs.

  7. Anonymous

    Dazzy Vance’s 1930 ERA was 2.36 BELOW the LEAGUE average. Right now, Kershaw is 2.16 below the league average.

    In 2000, Pedro Martinez (1.74) was 3.17 below the AL average.

  8. Anonymous

    One thing that really jumps out at me in the chart above is Koufax throwing 323 innings in ’66.

    • Anonymous

      Crazy by today’s standards I should add. Of course, in Cy Young’s day in was routine for pitchers to throw well over 300 innings a season. The all-time leader according to BR is Will White who threw 680 innings as a 24-yr old in 1879. More recently, Bob Feller threw 371.1 as a 27 yr-old in ’46, Gaylord Perry threw 342.2 (33 yr-old) in ’72 Wilbur Wood in ’71 and ’73 threw 334 and 359.1 respectively. Nolan Ryan (27 yr-old) threw 332.2 in ’74. And Phil Niekro did it 3 years running from ’77 through ’79 throwing 330.1, 334.1, 342 as a 38,39, and 40 yr-old.
      So not all that crazy, I guess.

      • foul tip

        Wonder if during the season Sandy knew ’66 was going to be his finale, and so thought he might as well throw all he could. From descriptions I’ve seen of what he had to go through just to pitch, I’d think probably so.

        As a knuckleballer, even an aging one, Niekro had it considerably easier.

    • Anonymous

      323 innings wasn’t so many pitches in the 15-inch mound era. A high scoring game was one in which five runs were scored, and ERAs over 3 were considered mediocre. 1-2-3 innings were pretty common, so pitches per inning were much lower.

  9. Any excuse to reference one of the more clever headlines in recent memory. ;) “Kershaw hurls. Dodgers to victory”

  10. Anonymous

    Ah, I remember it well…actually, I confuse it with his first game, which was a start against the Cards in 2008. He wasn’t knock out of that game, but I recall wishing that Torre would have pulled him after giving up a couple of base hits in the sixth and reaching the mid-90s in pitch count. Torre stuck with him and the Kid ended up letting in only one run and managed to take care of Troy Glaus, among others, to get out of it.

  11. Anonymous

    Hard to believe Hershiser’s ’88 season doesn’t make this list.

  12. KT

    I was at that “Hurl” game…had to ask Eli what was wrong with Clayton and had actually thought he hurt himself

    • Anonymous

      The comment below the blurb by *letsgogiants* was good for a laugh : “So if the Giants fall out of it come September….”

      Uh, OK so they haven’t fallen out of it yet?

  13. Anonymous

    Giants sign Lilly. Finally one goes the right direction.

    • foul tip

      Maybe they want to copy Ned’s success signing former Giants…

  14. “Congratulations are in order for two sets of parents close to the Dodger family! Dodger pitcher Josh Beckett
    and his wife, Holly, welcomed a baby girl on Friday named Sage Sutton.
    Daddy’s little girl weighed in at 7 lbs., 6 oz. and is the Beckett’s
    second child. In addition, Los Angeles Times’ Dodger beat writer Dylan
    Hernandez and his wife, Lauyin, also welcomed their second child, a baby
    boy, born Sunday named Landon. “

    • Anonymous

      Best NL outfield arm: Carlos Gonzalez voted by ML managers
      he is really good but he’s still a LF

      • Anonymous

        A Rockies fan friend of mine has pointed out that LF is more spacious than RF at Coors, so the equation’s a little different there.

        • Anonymous

          I can see that but LF doesn’t throw to first very often

          • Anonymous

            I think his point was that LF isn’t the place to hide your weakest outfielder at Coors.

    • Anonymous

      Adrian Beltre voted best defensive 3rd baseman and James Loney voted 2nd best defensive 1st baseman.

  15. foul tip

    “Here are 17 reasons why Yasiel Puig is baseball’s most must-watch rookie”

  16. Anonymous

    1912 Washington Senators, I read today, won 16 road games in a row. This was on a 24 game road trip which they started 1-7 then won the last 16. They then came home from a Saturday game in Cleveland for a 1 game homestand on Tuesday with the Philadelphia Athletics only to be in Philadelphia on Wednesday to start a 6 game in 4 days series.Then 30 out of 31 games at home.

  17. RT @mccoveychron: Giants don’t sign Ted Lilly to minor-league deal. Cats, dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.

  18. Examining the Dodgers Road Win Streak | FanGraphs Baseball

    • Anonymous

      fun article, perhaps the first time I’ve seen fungible used in a baseball piece.
      first comment says this is a post only a Dodger fan could enjoy

  19. KT

    Dodgers lineup:
    Crawford LF
    Ellis 2B
    Gonzalez 1B
    Puig RF
    Ethier CF
    Ellis C
    Uribe 3B
    Punto SS
    Kershaw P

    • Anonymous

      M.Ellis batting second again against a RHP when his OBP against such is better than only Fedex, Gordon, and Hairston.
      2013 BB: M.Ellis 16, Puig 15

  20. Anonymous

    The road winning streak of 15 has given the Dodgers the best road record in MLB at 31-24, a percentage of .564. The Pirates and Rays share second at 29-24 (.547). The Dodgers also have the best record in the National League in one-run games at 17-11 (.607). The Braves are next at 17-12 (.586). Finally, and tremendously insignificant, the Dodgers have the best record in MLB in games played on turf at 3-0, thanks to the sweep in Toronto.

  21. Oh, no, do we not get a Ker-Bam-Bam-You’re-Out headline tonight?

  22. Peeps, any word about Hanley?

    • Anonymous

      Crawford leads off the game with a single and MEllis follows by grounding into a DP. Same scenario as last night. I hope the end result is the same, too.

      • Anonymous

        In the future, a hit and run or straight steal with no outs might be a good idea there to take advantage of Crawford’s speed.

        • Anonymous

          Mattingly knows the hit-and-run is far too risky.

          • Anonymous

            Do I see a tongue-in-cheek in that comment?

  23. KT

    Let’s go Dre

  24. Nice catch, John Jay. [golf claps]

  25. Is Punto playing with a big glove?

  26. Anonymous

    Pitches through two innings: Kershaw 21, Kelly 30. My sense is if we can put two runs on the board, we would be in good shape. Also, if needed, Jansen would be available. I know, I know. I am getting way ahead of myself.

  27. KT


  28. KT

    Come on Clayton…I know you don’t like bunting

  29. Oh, c’mon. Take the bunt off with two strikes, fer cryin’ out loud.

  30. Anonymous

    So the Kid is human . . . and even more upset since that would’ve been a sac fly.

  31. Anonymous

    Looked like he was pulled off the bag on that throw from Freeze.

  32. Anonymous

    Starting with the at bat in which he was thrown out of the game on Friday after arguing the third strike, MEllis is now 0-for-11.

  33. KT

    Good inning Clayton!

  34. KT

    31 pitches through 3…nice Clayton

  35. Anonymous

    Ugh – that was crying out for a run and hit on that 3-0 count to Ethier there.

    • Anonymous

      Mattingly eschews that notion, as well as the hit and run.

    • Anonymous

      You are unaware of the Mattingly Risk Assessment Equation.

  36. Anonymous

    Time for two!

  37. Anonymous

    Get the K or double play!

  38. Anonymous

    That was a beaut

  39. Great play, but seriously can somebody tell Collins to calm down?

  40. KT

    46 pitches for Kersh

  41. Anonymous

    DP bonanza in this game

    • Anonymous

      Five by the two teams combined out of a maximum of nine possibilities.

  42. KT

    Good eye Nicky!

  43. Anonymous

    This game could come in under 2 hrs at this rate.

  44. KT

    Chad Moriyama ‏@ChadMoriyama52s
    [GIF] Clayton Kershaw with Neo reactions

  45. Anonymous

    Buckle down, Kid. (Not that he needs any prompting to do so.)

  46. KT

    DP Time

  47. Anonymous

    This is un-Kid-like . . . plus his failure to bunt.

  48. Anonymous

    (M)any more runs vs. will loom HUGE in this game.

  49. Anonymous

    Was the infield playing back or in on Kelly’s at bat?

    • Anonymous

      scoring play is up on gameday

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the information.

        • Anonymous

          But it’s incorrect; watch the tape on gameday

          • KT

            where was Mellis when he fielded the ball? right at second base…he was not even with the bag at the beginning of the play…he had to come in the field the ball

          • Anonymous

            I thought the same at first but the tape shows the pitch if you watch the whole thing

          • KT

            you can’t even see where they are positioned from the replay on gameday

          • Anonymous

            yes you can look at Punto

  50. Alright now enough of the double plays let’s knock some guys in.

  51. Anonymous

    The Kid finishes 5 and avoids the fate of this post . . . but far from a victory vs. Kelly.

  52. Anonymous

    Expecting Kershaw to be perfect or near-perfect every time is asking the impossible. Including tonight, we have scored two runs in the last 21 innings that he has been the pitcher of record.

    • Anonymous

      Something I’m sure he’s very much aware of.

  53. Anonymous


  54. Anonymous

    This inning calls for a big homer by Puig.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll take a small homer by him . . . or any other Dodger. (Or single ribbies!)

  55. The (almost) DP proof lead off hit!

  56. Anonymous

    C’mon, Adrian — gotta get this run!

  57. KT

    Let’s go Gonzo

  58. Anonymous

    Agon — again!

  59. KT


  60. Let’s go Yasiel!

  61. Anonymous

    wonders never cease . . . man in motion!

  62. Anonymous

    Taking out Kelly? Thank you!!!!!!!

  63. A-Gon, station-to-station.

    • Anonymous

      As long as the train’s still out there!

    • Anonymous

      But it’s gotta be frustrating for Puig to be behind him on the path!

  64. Anonymous

    Keep it off the ground, Dre — like in the stands!

  65. Anonymous


  66. Anonymous

    At least a sac fly!!!!

  67. Ok Adrian is at third now… let’s get him in.

    • KT

      anybody else would have scored already

      • Anonymous

        But no other Dodger has an RBI in this game . . . so we takes what we get with Agon.

        • True. But I can’t help but think Puig behind Adrian isn’t the greatest. I like him in the 2 spot but I know without Hanley we need somebody to hit clean up.

      • Anonymous

        I agree with what Lyons said. Did you hear it?

        • KT

          nope…don’t get KCAL

          • Anonymous

            had to wait until it got through infield, apparently Monday said the same as Bob says above

  68. Anonymous

    Should Gonzalez have been waved in on Ethier’s single, or was the ball hit too hard, or is Gonzalez carrying two pianos on his back tonight?

  69. Choate was injured?

  70. Anonymous

    Dang it!

  71. Anonymous

    Waste not . . .

  72. Really should have at least one more run that inning. Total bummer.

  73. Anonymous


  74. KT

    Got to come back and get this one…everyone ahead of us has already won

  75. Anonymous

    Having Gonzalez bat ahead of Puig is like putting a milk truck in front of an Indy 500 car. I think Puig should bat behind a cheetah.

    • Rabbit, Vin calls ’em. ;)

    • I just made a similar comment below, but I understand with Hanley out they gotta find somebody to hit behind him. Not sure Donnie would go Puig 3 and Adrian 4.

      • Anonymous

        I had missed your comment. I would be surprised if Gonzalez is batting immediately ahead of Puig tomorrow. Just a hunch.

      • Anonymous

        I would have bat Puig 2nd, Ethier 4th against the RH starting P against whom Ethier had good #’s; M. Ellis 7th

  76. KT

    inning over

  77. KT


  78. Did Punto bunt into that out?

    • Anonymous

      Mattingly’s fault, though.

      • Anonymous

        Explain, please

        • Anonymous

          For ordering the bunt.

          • Anonymous

            Bunt is fine there

          • Anonymous

            Statistically even a successful bunt reduces your chances of scoring that inning.

          • Anonymous

            not with Punto up

          • Anonymous

            I disagree.

          • Anonymous

            He is hitting 212 on the season against RHP that after a strong start when he hit 400 in April and 267 in May both overall, He was hitting 133 since July 6 before tonight.

    • KT

      worse bunt ever…right in front of the plate with a nice hop for the catcher to field

  79. Anonymous

    Unless we pull this out, Kershaw is going to be very unhappy post-game.

    • Anonymous

      Including at himself — from the mound, fine, but his lack of moving over the runner with a bunt probably cost a run.

  80. Where is pinch runner Dee Gordon? Could help in this game it seems.

  81. KT

    Good eye CC!

  82. Anonymous

    I think that the last two innings have been the most frustrating back-to-back innings we’ve had since before this glorious run of games began.

    • Anonymous

      Reverted to early-season hitting, i.e. ineffective.

  83. Anonymous
    “shortstop Dee Gordon, who was told he was returning to the big leagues before Ramirez had hurt his shoulder”

  84. KT

    inning over

  85. Anonymous

    Reverted to early-season League as well . . .

  86. I know League has been better lately, but I still question using him in a tight game. That’s why.

  87. Anonymous

    We pulled this game out of our mid-May library.

  88. Well the streak was fun while it lasted…

  89. Anonymous

    League’s ERA moves above 5. Make that above 5.5.

  90. Anonymous

    Appears streak ends . . . Kershaw gets another loss . . . League loses any confidence . . . and the offense’s lack of effectiveness catches up to them. Let’s hope they can shrug it off tomorrow.

  91. Anonymous

    If we lose tonight, our only two losses in our last 11 games will be the games Kershaw started. In those two games Kershaw allowed two runs in 14 innings, lowering his ERA. Irony abounds.

  92. Anonymous

    Dodgers are 13-10 in Kershaw starts at this moment; now 13-11

    • Anonymous

      Wow. So we are 49-39 in games in which he does not start. As I just said, irony abounds.

  93. Anonymous

    Kershaw is the best 10-7 pitcher in baseball.

    • Anonymous

      In 1979 the Angels let Nolan Ryan leave as a free agent. Ryan was 16-14 that season. Buzzie Bavasi, the GM, was asked how he was going to replace Ryan-he said with 2 8-7 pitchers

      • Anonymous

        One of Buzzie’s big mistakes, but he didn’t make that many of them. One of my favorite Bavasi trades was acquiring Wally Moon for Gino Cimoli after the 1958 season.

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