Ask anyone who the ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff is and they will not hesitate to tell you its Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has been as good over the past few seasons as any pitcher in baseball and better than most. So far this spring however, he seems a bit shaky and even mentioned that he isn’t confident in giving up the hits and runs that he has surrendered. If you look closer however, you will see why a nine ERA for Kershaw isn’t a problem.
You really don’t have to look that close to know it’s early March. Pitchers everywhere are just getting the pitching arm to where they can throw four innings worth of pitches. Not one single pitcher in the majors is one hundred percent right now regardless of the result you see. The fact that Kershaw has given up eight runs this spring so far is not something to worry about. The main reason for that is the fact that he is worried about it.
Worry isn’t actually the correct word. He is angry that he gave up hits and runs. But see, he isn’t upset that he gave up a certain number of hits and runs, he is angry that he gave up any. No matter if its spring training, the World Series or a pickup game out back, Kershaw wants to throw zeroes on the board. If something other than a zero goes up, he doesn’t like it.
That competitiveness is exactly what makes him so great. He wants to be perfect. As long as he doesn’t go out of his mind one of these days stressing over being perfect each and every start, he’ll be fine. In the end Kershaw’s desire for greatness will lead to just that; greatness. I guarantee you when the season starts, Kershaw will be throwing up zeroes, ones, twos and not much more than that all season long.