Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (안전놀이터35, photo) is dominating the American professional baseball major league again.
As of the morning of the 12th (Korean time), Kershaw started in 8 games and maintained an outstanding record of 6 wins and 2 losses with an ERA of 2.36. The number of wins is 1st overall in the National League, and the average ERA is tied for 5th in the league. In his most recent appearance, against the Milwaukee Brewers on the 11th, Kershaw pitched well, giving up 5 hits and 1 run in 7 innings, and decorated 7 of 8 games this year with quality starts (6 or more innings and 3 earned runs or less).
Also in April, he won 5 wins and earned an average ERA of 1.89, and was selected as the pitcher of the month for the first time in 7 years since May 2016. Achieved 200 victories called. This year, the detailed pitching indicators such as on-base per inning rate (0.95, 5th place) and hit rate (0.204, tied for 5th place) are also impeccable. This is the reason why the praise comes out saying, “After passing through the 2nd, we are passing through the 3rd heyday.”
Kershaw is a left-handed pitcher representing the big leagues. He won the Cy Award for the best pitcher in the league three times (2011, 2013-2014), and in 2014, he also received the National League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP). But he has been sluggish lately. He suffered from various injuries in 2021 (121.2 innings) and 2022 (126.1 innings) in two consecutive years, and his pitching innings decreased to around 120. In the 2021 season, he also had an earned run average of 3.55, his highest since 2009 when he established himself as a full-time starter. Therefore, his prospects for the season were bleak. The evaluation of ‘it’s gone’ came out.
The driving force behind Kershaw’s resurgence is the rise of redemption. According to Statcast, a major league pitching analysis system, Kershaw currently has an average speed of 91.2 miles (146.7 km). He increased his average velocity by about 1 km from 2021 (90.6 miles) and 2022 (90.7 miles). Here, various pitches such as sliders and curveballs are still showing their power. It is also a picture of a complete recovery from the big and small injuries that have plagued him for the past two years.
Song Jae-woo, a commentator for MBC Sports Plus, said, “Certainly, there have been more matches where Kershaw recorded speeds of 93 miles per hour (149.67 km) or more during matches this year. A healthy Kershaw has always done well,” he said. “Here, the slider and curveball, which are still top rated in the big leagues, continue to exert their power, and good results are maintained.”
At this pace, he could aim for more than 15 wins for the first time since 2019 (16 wins). Kershaw’s most wins in a season was 21 wins (3 losses) in 2014. Kershaw is also about to join the 3,000 strikeout club this year. He currently has 2863, with 137 left. In the major leagues, which boasts a 150-year history, 3,000 strikeouts is a record held by only 19 players.