clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

There's Clayton Kershaw and then there's everyone else

New, comments

Friday's Say Hey, Baseball includes Clayton Kershaw's absurd run, the 20-strikeout record, and more from the Tim Lincecum signing saga.

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's okay, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

* * *

Jake Arrieta is the reigning Cy Young winner in the National League, and the current ERA leader at 1.13. He's yet to lose a game and he's allowed the fewest hits per nine of any starter in the NL. That's all very impressive, and expected from Arrieta at this point. His season right now pales in comparison to Clayton Kershaw's, though. Arrieta had the upper hand a year ago thanks to Kershaw's uncharacteristically slow start -- he finished May with a 3.86 ERA but his season at 2.13. In 2016, all we've seen is sheer dominance from the game's best pitcher.

Kershaw has a 1.74 ERA over his first eight starts, which is admittedly behind Arrieta's current pace. However, despite just one additional outing, Kershaw has thrown 14 more innings and has struck out 33 more hitters while walking one-quarter of the batters Arrieta has. Kershaw's strikeout-to-walk ratio is leading the league at 19.3, and it's also leading literally everyone ever, as the all-time record for a qualifying pitcher is Phil Hughes' 11.6 mark from that super weird 2014 he had that the Twins now kind of wish he hadn't. Kershaw is closer to doubling the record than he is to just topping it, so he's got a bit of cushion for free passes the rest of the year.

And he just might top it, too, considering he has a 1.53 ERA and K/BB of 10 over his last 31 starts, during which he quickly erased the memory of last spring's struggles. Arrieta is amazing, and don't think anyone is saying otherwise, but is there any chance he would have won the Cy Young if Kershaw didn't have his first major slip-up since he was a 20-year-old rookie back in 2008? He's 250 starts into his career with an era of 2.40 to show for it in spite of that early start. He's won three of the last five Cy Youngs, with a top-two and top-three finish the other two years. Arrieta is amazing. So is Chris Sale, and Jose Fernandez, and plenty of others. They're all in Kershaw's wake, though, and if he keeps going like this, plenty of history will be, too.