From K to shining K

September 20, 2011

50 years ago today, Sandy Koufax pitched in the last regular season game played at the LA Coliseum.  You could call it a quality start.  He went 13 innings to get the complete game win.  Today, a quality start is considered six innings.  Back then, pitchers regularly pitched complete games.  Today’s pitchers pitch 25% less innings that their 1950’s and 60’s counterparts notes Fred Poulin in dobberbaseball.com.  I was thinking that the amount of innings that Koufax pitched might have aggravated his arthritic arm and led to his early retirement.  Fred’s article suggests that the opposite may be true and today’s pitchers may not be throwing enough innings to prevent injury.

Today’s K – Kershaw will try for his 20th win today in his 4th matchup with Tim Lincecum.  In games against Lincecum this year, Kershaw is 3-0 with no earned runs allowed in 23 innings, racking up 30 strikeouts against just three walks.  I hope he makes it 30 scoreless innings tonight.  If that happens, he will take another step toward the Cy Young award.

Dylan Hernandez has an article comparing Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw on the LA Times web site.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 20, 1961 – In a 13-inning contest, Sandy Koufax goes the distance beating the Cubs, 3-2, in the last regular season game to be played at the LA Memorial Coliseum, which was originally built for the 1932 Olympics. The Dodgers are leaving the only home they have known since moving from Brooklyn four seasons ago to play in a brand new stadium in Chavez Ravine, located a few miles from downtown Los Angeles.


Kershaw is Pitching like Koufax

July 20, 2011

Clayton Kershaw pitched 8 shutout innings Wednesday, getting 12 strikeouts and retiring 25 out of 29 batters as the Dodgers defeated the Giants 1-0.  Tim Lincecum also pitched good allowing only a 7th inning solo home run by Dioner Navarro.  This reminds me of the Dodgers teams of the early 1960’s that depended on great pitching and had to scratch for runs.

From May 1, 1961 until June 1, 1966, Sandy Koufax pitched ten games in which the final score was Dodgers 1, other team 0.  All games were complete game shutouts except for one in which Sandy got a little help from Ron Perranoski.

Time will tell whether Kershaw will continue to put up those kind of numbers, but at the same stage of their careers, Kershaw is way ahead of where Koufax was at the same age.

Clayton Kershaw and Sandy Koufax

Colletti Cans Coach

Ned Colletti fired Dodger Hitting Coach Jeff Pentland following Tuesday’s game.  He cited a lack of focus by the team’s struggling offense as reported by Tony Jackson in his ESPN Los Angeles blog.  Colletti said he wanted to send a message to the players.  I’m afraid that the only message he has succeeded in sending was for a player to get out of LA as soon as they hit free agency.

After Wednesday’s 1-0 victory in which the Dodgers were 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position on the first day new Hitting Coach Dave Hansen was in charge, Jackson tweeted:

A Dodgers position player who shall go nameless, as we entered clubhouse after game: `Well, that change of hitting coaches worked out well.’”

Way to help the team morale, Ned.