As the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw closed the 2013 MLB season with two great starts, he certainly solidified his status as the clear, deserved winner of the NL Cy Young Award. Despite being given the respect he earned, baseball fans might not fully appreciate the magnitude of his performance.
To fully grasp the amazing year that was Kershaw’s 2013 season, let us head to the statistics. On the year, Kershaw boasts a 1.83 ERA, a 194 ERA+ (adjusted average according to each pitchers’ ballpark), a 0.915 WHIP and 232 strikeouts. Kershaw led the entire MLB in each of the first three categories and only trailed Yu Darvish and Max Scherzer in strikeouts.
Although his 2013 contemporaries could not compare to Kershaw’s remarkable season, they are in good company. Since 1901, there are only five other seasons in which a pitcher posted better stats than Kershaw in these four categories: Pedro Martinez (2000), Bob Gibson (1968), Pete Alexander (1915) and Walter Johnson (1913 and 1912) – all of these stats were looked up on baseball-reference.com.
Considering the fact that only two pitchers in the last 98 years have bested Kershaw in four areas, it is safe to say that his 2013 season is one for the ages. Even more impressive is the fact that Kershaw has accomplished this notable feat at only 25 years of age.
As Kershaw and the Dodgers head into the playoffs, the team will certainly need their ace to perform in order to make a deep run. With a historic season in the books, Kershaw certainly has the momentum and motivation necessary to perform in the postseason. It will certainly be entertaining to see if he can have a playoffs for the ages as well.