Tag Archives: MVP

K is for Kershaw

Is Clayton Kershaw the best pitcher of this generation? He’s certainly making a pretty good case.

On Thursday night the Dodgers left-hander tossed his second consecutive shutout and struck out 13 in becoming the first pitcher in the modern era to string together 5 consecutive starts with 10 or more strikeouts and 1 or fewer walks. Let that settle in. No one since 1900 has done that. And no pitcher has exhibited such a combination of power and control. For the season, Kershaw now has 77 strikeouts and FOUR walks – a 19 to 1 ratio. The best ever ratio for a full season is 11 to 1. Extrapolated over a full season, Kershaw would end up with a mind-numbing 308 strikeouts versus 16 walks.

With 3 Cy Young Awards, an MVP award, and 4 ERA titles already under his belt, he is already in rare territory. His career ERA is 2.40, the best among active players by over half a run (Madison Bumgarner is 2nd at 3.02). He is now 119 and 57 over his seven and a half seasons. His winning percentage is first among all active pitchers and is 8th all time. For six straight seasons now, he has dominated the National League. His run is reminiscent of that of Sandy Koufax’s 4-year stretch from 1963-66, which is still the greatest in modern baseball history. But it’s time for Kershaw’s name to be included in the conversation about pitchers who may end up among the best the game has seen.

It was a great week for pitchers other than Kershaw, as well. Max Scherzer tied the MLB record for K’s in a 9 inning game with 20. And Noah Syndergaard of the Mets blasted two homers in his win over the Dodgers the night before Kershaw took the mound.

Every era has their greats. In the ’60’s it was Koufax, Gibson, Drysdale, and Marichal. The ’70’s had Seaver, Carlton, Palmer and Ryan. We seem to be in another era of dominant pitchers with Arrieta, Hernandez, and the like, but to me Kershaw is clearly at the top.

What do you think?

It doesn’t hurt that he’s also a great guy, committed to making the lives of others better. Check it out: http://www.kershawschallenge.com/

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Steph Stuff

Rather than a big red “S” on his chest, Superman wears number 30. Or so it seems.

What more can be said about the NBA’s best player after the last 24 hours? Last night, Steph Curry came back from two weeks off with a sprained MCL, to torch the Portland Trailblazers — and the NBA record book, again — in a 132-125 overtime playoff win.

He shook off the rust from the layoff by the second half, and by overtime he was simply on fire, scoring 17 points in the extra period – something no one in the history of the game had ever done in either the playoffs or regular season. After starting by missing his first 9 shots from 3-point range, he finished 16 of 32 from the floor. He was simply ridiculous.

And today, last season’s MVP winner was announced as a unanimous selection for the same honor this year — something else no one had ever done. Think about it: Mikan, Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Bird, Magic, Michael, Kobe, Lebron. Not one of them had ever been the unanimous MVP.

In a note that may have gone unnoticed by many last week, Steph came in 4th in the voting for the league’s Most Improved Player. Think about that for a moment. The reigning league MVP nearly wins the MIP. He was the only player ever to average 30 points per game when playing less than 35 minutes per game. He became 1 of 3 players in history to shoot 50% from the field, 45% from three, and 90% from the free throw line, and the other two did not have nearly as many attempts.

He got better!

Which is why he was the unanimous choice for MVP. And why he lit up Portland last night on one and a half good legs. He’s changing the game… and having fun doing it. Which is also why we should keep watching.

It’s not every day we get the chance to witness greatness like this. Actually, this season it is.

http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/15492948/the-numbers-steph-curry-incredible-mvp-season

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