Clayton Kershaw
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images North America

Clayton Kershaw is back to his old form.  Heard it before, but this time he has the statistics to back it up.  Through his first six starts, Clayton Kershaw has amassed a 1.50 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 36 innings with only six walks and a league-leading WHIP of 0.72. 

Previous Campaigns

In 2011, Clayton Kershaw earned his first Cy Young award, followed by a second-place finish in 2012.  He then earned his second Cy Young award in 2013 and then his third Cy Young award while also winning the National League MVP in 2014. By 2015, Kershaw recorded his first 300-strikeout season while finishing third in the Cy Young voting. 2016 was an injury-plagued season. 

Clayton Kershaw Playoff Woes

In 2017, Kershaw led all major league pitchers in left on-base percentage, stranding 87.4% of base runners but performed poorly in the playoffs.  His poor performances in the postseason continued in 2018 and 2019 with Dodger Nation throwing his jersey on the field or running them over with cars.

Kershaw injured his back in the weight room and was placed on the injured list to start the 2020 season. While Yu Darvish continues to dazzle, with his 1.44 ERA, 63 strikeouts in 50 innings, with a WHIP of 0.88, Kershaw will jump into the CY Young voting once he is eligible.  And of course, there is always Jacob DeGrom, with a 1.69 ERA, 70 strikeouts in 48 innings pitched, with a WHIP of 0.88. 

Is Clayton Kershaw back

He passed the 2,500-strikeout milestone last week against the Diamondbacks while increasing his strikeout percentage to 30.6%, which is his highest level since 2016. Although some say Kershaw has lost something off his fastball and that he saw his ERA creep over 3.00 in 2019 for the first time since his rookie year, there is little doubt that the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner is in the mix again for this year’s pitching crown.

Reporting indicates the Kershaw has been tinkering with new pitches and will rely less heavily on the fastball that dominated hitters throughout much of the last decade. At age 31, he is still young enough to make another run at his fourth Cy Young.