Making your regular season debut on the road, let alone on the other side of the world, is never an easy task for any big league pitcher to take on. That is of course, unless you are Clayton Kershaw. The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ ace made his first start of the regular season down under against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and showed the same kind of dominance he displayed all throughout the 2013 season.
Looking around the National League, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who is capable of challenging Kershaw for the 2014 edition of the Cy Young Award. Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals would be the easy choice of who should be next in line for the award, but given the fact he won’t be able to match Kershaw’s innings pitched and total strikeouts, even he won’t be able to catch the Dodgers’ big-time lefty.
Kershaw got off to a great start in regards to his strikeouts, as he managed to fan seven batters over the span of 6.2 innings pitched at Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia. As long as Kershaw is able to continue to go deep into ballgames throughout the entire season, there isn’t another pitcher in the NL that has the raw talent and strength to out-pitch the Dodgers’ most prized possession. Sooner rather than later, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly will be giving Kershaw the green light to pitch well into the seventh, eighth and even ninth inning, thus being able to pad his stats in a big way.
Being that good takes a lot of hard work and an almost awkward amount of dedication. He is an absolute workhorse, and one that could rival the great Roy Halladay back when he was in his prime. This kind of sheer dominance doesn’t come around too often, and neither does a back-to-back Cy Young Award winner. Kershaw is primed and ready to defy the odds in 2014, and thus will enjoy gaining entrance to the exclusive club of only a few National League pitchers who have won back-to-back Cy Youngs.