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June 20, 2014

The View from the Loge Level

Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers Pitching Tradition

by Daron Sutton


Sandy’s the only pitcher I’ve ever worked behind where I felt after the first batter that I’d have the thought that he might pitch a no-hitter. And I would have that many, many times because he would wind up and throw this explosive fastball and then this great curveball, and you would think ‘my gosh, he’s unhittable’….To give you an idea what it was like, we’d be on the road and he would come out of the dugout and walk to wherever the bullpen was and he would get an ovation from the crowd. It was like the maestro ascending the podium before he was conducting the symphony orchestra. That’s the way it was with him. There was something very magical. Also Sandy was different than the regular players, in a sense he shunned the limelight. You would find Sandy going with Dick Tracewski, who was an infielder, a backup infielder, or Doug Camilli, the third-string catcher, and they’d go off quietly and have dinner somewhere. Don Drysdale, for instance, was just the opposite, the pied piper. Wherever Don went, there’d be 12 other players with him. Sandy was all of that and then he had that superb ability.

Those were the words of Vin Scully when I once asked him to describe Sandy Koufax. As someone who had never seen the near mythical left-hander pitch live and in person, it was my good fortune to be able to ask the man who’s best suited to paint a picture of Koufax in the mind’s eye. Since we started in that vein, we probably should, you know, just for kicks, take a look:

Clayton Kershaw (Career)
1244.1 IP, 194 G, 192 GS, 13 CG, 2.9 BB/9, 9.3 K/9, 2.60 ERA,.211/.278/.312 opponent line

Koufax (6/24/55-6/16/63)
1247.2 IP, 259 G, 179 GS, 57 CG, 4.2 BB/9, 9.2 K/9, 3.52 ERA, .216/.304/.349 opponent line

Fun to look at, but we all understand that Koufax started his career in a very different manner than anyone would in the 2000s. A reminder of how he finished:

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (06/20)
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Premium Article The View from the Loge... (06/27)
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