In an internet chat yesterday, Clayton Kershaw was asked about Sandy Koufax:
Koufaxk32: What do you think of the comparisons between you and Sandy Koufax?
Kershaw: It’s an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence as Mr. Koufax. But I have a ton of work to do before the comparisons are warranted.
Well, certainly Kershaw’s career can’t be compared with Koufax’s career. The best we can do is look at where the two were at about the same age. Turns out they are eerily close.
Sandy Koufax was born Dec. 30, 1935. He turned 21 on Dec. 30, 1956. As of the end of the 1957 baseball season, he was about 21.8 years old, and he had pitched slightly over 200 innings for the Dodgers. He was about 6-2 and 210 pounds, and threw lefthanded.
Clayton Kershaw was born March 19, 1988. He turned 21 on March 19, 2009. As of June 22, 2009, Kershaw was about 21.3 years old, and had pitched about 182 innings for the Dodgers. He stands 6-3 and weighs about 220 pounds, and throws lefthanded.
Koufaxafter his 21 y.o. season Kershaw now, 21 y.o.
Tell me which line belongs to which Dodger lefty:
W 9 L 10 IP 205.2 H 182 ER 91 ERA 3.99 K 182 BB 108
W 9 L 10 IP 184.1 H 166 ER 83 ERA 4.05 K 175 BB 98
Kershaw’s line is the lower one. In the next twenty innings, he will probably get even closer to Koufax numbers; he will certainly pass him in strikeouts. You can do the WHIP, etc, but let’s not put too fine a point on it. Long story short: Kershaw is following in the footsteps.
I’ll keep you posted.
For now, I’m calling him “K2”.