FG on Fox: Clayton Kershaw Getting Better?

Take a quick glance and you might not be particularly encouraged by what Clayton Kershaw has done since returning from the disabled list.

There’s nothing wrong with a 3.32 ERA, but Kershaw hasn’t finished with an ERA that high since he was a rookie. You’d be tempted to think Kershaw’s under-performance is one of the reasons the Dodgers are looking up at the Giants in the standings.

But we can go deeper than this. For one thing, it’s worth acknowledging Kershaw’s one disastrous start against the Diamondbacks. This is bad analysis, but if you forgive Kershaw for a bad day, his ERA drops from 3.32 to 1.94. He’s been outstanding, except for once.

And we don’t even need to mess around with ERA anyway, since we have more meaningful numbers at our disposal. If you believe what the numbers are saying, Clayton Kershaw might’ve somehow improved. It all comes out of the following foundation: the very best pitchers get strikeouts, limit walks, and limit homers. In order to limit homers, it’s preferable to limit fly balls.

Read the rest on FoxSports.com.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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The National League
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The National League
2 years 2 months ago

Noooooooo!!!

JMo37
Member
JMo37
2 years 2 months ago

I opened up the article to READ IT HERE.

Not going to FoxSports…Poor Form Sullivan

channelclemente
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channelclemente
2 years 2 months ago

I wonder if Sullivan feels dirty, writing for Faux Sports. Shower dude, and wipe the stuff off your shoes and think about what your mama would say about it.

The Foils
Member
The Foils
2 years 2 months ago

Any thoughts on his Pitchf/x game charts?

When last I looked, he seems to be missing the clusters of sliders and curves that have the bottom truly and goodly fall all the way out of them that he has had in years past.

Anyone else see this, agree, and have an explanation?

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 2 months ago

Look at all the yellow dots under the zone. Those are all swinging strikes, and probably mostly on sliders. Kershaw is getting more swinging strikes than he ever has, and as usual, they are coming on breaking balls below the zone.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 2 months ago
The Foils
Member
The Foils
2 years 2 months ago

Cool stuff. Still wanted to know why the clusters from 2013 aren’t there yet this year… but I went back and checked and realized it was the wrong question, since those clusters weren’t there in 2011-12 either.

Soooo nevermind probably. Might could explain something of the extra-silly BABIP he had last year, though.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 2 months ago

Can you post a chart from 2013 that serves as a good example of what you are observing?

Kershaw is probably the pitcher I have watched more than any other, so I’m curious to see how what you’re seeing lines up with what I am seeing. In my recollection, last year was a particularly good year for his curveball, which of course has more of a “bottom-falling-out” effect than the slider does. Last year, his curve had the highest swinging strike rate it has ever had, so that may explain it.

The Foils
Member
The Foils
2 years 2 months ago

Here’s the link: http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxg.aspx?playerid=2036&position=P&season=2013&date=0&dh=0

If it works, check out Vertical Movement v. Velocity

Also, if you’re a Kershaw enthusiast, come chat about him at truebluela (SBNation Dodger site) where such conversations are much easier than with Fangraphs silly commenting software. :)

ivdown
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ivdown
2 years 2 months ago

What I love about this season is the fact that even though his ERA is as high as it is, he has still been dominant as hell. His FIP is the best in baseball, same with SIERRA. Like you said if you take out that start against Arizona, his ERA reflects his season so much better.

Park Chan ho's Beard
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Park Chan ho's Beard
2 years 2 months ago

All the image links are broken on the fox website, at least for me. Is it just me??

Brendan
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Brendan
2 years 2 months ago

One thing to note: you mention that he is throwing less high pitches and more low pitches, likely accounting for the increase in GB%. However, his HR/9 and HR/FB are both up this year. Probably just a case of SSS at this point, as I’m not sure how that would really make sense, but something to keep an eye on.

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