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Dodger Baseball

The Lefties

You ask any Dodger fan today who is the best left-handed pitcher in Dodger history and two names usually pop-up, Kershaw and Koufax.

Us older folk who saw Sandy pitch so many times, usually choose Sandy. ” The left arm of god.” Koufax is almost mythical. It has been so long since he pitched, World Series, 1966 and then retired after the series, that only videos, not very high-quality ones at that, are all that the newer generation sees.

Even when mixed with video, the call by Vin of his perfect game is iconic, even though there are no videos of that game. It was only on the radio.

Kershaw almost every time out comes near or sets another record. It is obvious by now he will never come close to the 4 no-hitters Sandy had, so that one is safe, it is a Dodger record also.

He has passed Sandy in wins, K’s, and matched him with three Cy Young awards. So, why do we older folk still think Koufax is the GOAT for the Dodgers????

As successful as Kersh is, the Dodgers, and we understand it is just not that easy to win Championships, have won one with Kersh. Koufax was a part of four such teams. Same with Johnny Podres.

Koufax won clinching games twice, 63-65. Sixty-fives was a game 7 on two-days’ rest. And he beat teams with a ton of great hitters. The 63 Yankees and the 65 Twins. Podres won game 7 in 1955 with a shut-out and pitched 8 1/3 innings for the win in 1963.

Kershaw had a great postseason in 2020 when he went 4-1. That is his best postseason record ever. Of course it is not fair to solely judge anyone on simply their performance in the postseason, and Kershaw has pitched in 38 such contests. Koufax pitched in 8.

But for those of us who did see Sandy pitch, you always felt something special could happen every time he took the mound. And the way he dominated was so much different than what Kershaw does.

His curveball was something to see. Kershaw has a good one, but his top pitch now is his backdoor slider. Koufax would drop that curve in after one of his fastballs, and hitters just could not adjust.

Suffice to say, we all, whether we admit it or not, have favorites. Nothing wrong with that. The Dodgers have had so many very good pitchers, and a lot of them were lefties.

You go all the way back to their days in Brooklyn and you had guys like Nap Rucker. Rucker over his career was a .500 pitcher, 134-134. But, he is still in the top 24 players by WAR in Dodger history, 47.2. That number puts him #12 in Dodger history. Ahead of Hershiser, Valenzuela, Jeff Pfiffer, Brickyard Kennedy and Bobby Welch.

Kershaw, Valenzuela and Koufax are the only lefties on that list. Of the 12 Cy Young awards they have won, 7 have been by lefties. Kersh and Koufax 3 each and Valenzuela in 1981.

There are five lefties on the Dodgers all-time win list, Kersh, Koufax, Osteen, Valenzuela and Podres. There are four on the career ERA list, Rucker, Kershaw, Perranoski and Brewer.

Other than Ron Perranoski and Jim Brewer, the Dodgers have not really had a left-handed closer. Brewer is fifth and Perranoski sixth on the all-time saves list.

Likewise there are only four lefties in the top 10 all-time strikeout leaders. Kersh, Koufax, Valenzuela and Podres.

But the Dodgers have had some left-handers who had great seasons. Preacher Roe won 22 and lost only 3 in 1951. Tommy John won 20 in 1977. Osteen won 20 twice, 69 and 72.

Reuss and Valenzuela threw no hitters. Reuss had a couple of 18 win seasons. All in all, LA has had some very good southpaws and two of the best ever.

 

 

 

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Jeff Dominique

Thank you all for the kind words. That game last night lifted my spirits. What a team. What a run. 

Lance Lynn looks to be the front of the rotation pitcher the Dodgers were looking for at the deadline. Averaging more than 6.0 IP in his four starts with a sub 1.50 ERA, a sub 0.90 WHIP, and a 5.0 K/BB ratio. There is still a long ways to go, but very reminiscent of Max Scherzer in a LAD uni in 2021. Difference being, I am quite sure that Lance Lynn would absolutely take the ball in a must win playoff game.

Austin Barnes has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and I am sure most of you are tired of hearing me try to support him. My son knew what an AB fan I have been and after the HR, my wife looked over at me and said that was Kris giving his Pops a gift.

I have said it loud and often. This is a team game, and each member has their job, and first and foremost, Barnes’ job is working with the pitcher. It is up to the team to pick up for a teammate. Tonight Barnes’ offense, game calling, and work on balls in the dirt gave the Dodgers their 11th consecutive win. They are now only 4.0 games behind Atlanta, and they have a 4 game series in LA against Atlanta August 31 – September 3. They are now on a 100 win pace. This is supposed to be a transition year.  

Last edited 10 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Badger

I wonder how long Koufax might have pitched on the lighter load Kershaw has pitched. 200 innings instead of 330. It’s hard for me to compare the two when Koufax had more complete games in one year than Kershaw has had in his career. And he did it twice. Different era, I know, which makes it difficult to compare. I’m grateful to have both, but for me there is nobody like Koufax.

Oldbear48

Clayton over the last few years has become a pitcher. He no longer has a fastball that is his best pitch. Koufax, right up until his last game, used that fastball to punch out most hitters. I remember as a kid, listening to Vin call his 18 K game against the Giants. Just unreal to us that anyone could strike out 18 batters in a game. And he did it twice. As strikeouts became more prevalent, the record was eventually broken. I think 1966 has to be one of his more amazing performances. Simply because of the pain he was dealing with in his left elbow. He iced his arm before and after games, and he took the ball for starts 41 times. He won 27, lost 9, pitched 323 innings, struck out 317 and had an ERA of 1.73. The lowest of his career. His last game of the season was a 9-inning complete game 6-3 win over the Phillies. He struck out 10, gave up 2 earned runs and walked one. That was the last regular season game of his career. His last game was game 2 of the World Series against the Orioles. He pitched 6 innings giving up 1 earned run. But he got no help from his defense. The Dodgers committed six errors that day, including 3 by Willie Davis in a 6-0 loss. They only won the pennant by 1.5 games. The offense that season was not very good.

OhioDodger

Which would you choose in a must win game? It is a no brainer. Koufax.

SandyIsTheGreatest

Fernando!

Singing the Blue

I suggest you change your name here.

Bumsrap

Ha

Dionysus

Why?

Oldbear48

Over Koufax? Ridiculous.

Dionysus

Moron

Oldbear48

Sorry I do not answer to your family name. You obviously never saw Sandy pitch.

Oldbear48

I was so happy to see Barnes do that. Shut’s up a lot of his detractors. But what was really cool was that Nomar had Barnes as his call your shot. He went nuts when Barnes hit it and Hairston ended up having to do some pushups. You could tell the whole team was happy for Barnes.

Scott Andes

Great game and great night. Lynn is exactly what the Dodgers needed. A big comanding prescence on the mound. There is no fluff with him, he comes right at the hitters. He is agressive and pounds the zone. Here it is, hit it if you can. He’s a fiery competitor. He makes the hitters uncomfortable. Great job from Friedman picking him up. What I was thinking the day the trade was made.

Great game from Barnes too. Happy to see him have a big night. great job all around. Glad it lifted your spirits Jeff.

Jeff Dominique

I am not going to blow smoke and say I knew Lance Lynn would do what he is doing. I did not see it. I wanted Lynn at the 2020 deadline. He is even better right now than back in 2020. But he is exactly what I thought AF would end up with. AF never said he was only looking for a front of the rotation starter (Verlander or Scherzer). He wanted an innings eater who could help the bullpen. That is who the 2023 version of Lance Lynn was. Instead, AF got that front of the rotation starter who has been brilliant since donning the LAD Blue.

The Dodgers were going nowhere unless Kershaw rejoined the rotation and Urías got out of his seemingly season long funk. Both did, and now the Dodgers have a rookie who is pushing for playoff starts (pushing hard). The Dodger playoff rotation of Kershaw, Urías, Lynn, and Miller is good. Very good. With Yarbrough and Gonsolin in the ready as piggyback options, the Dodgers have a starting pitching staff to match anyone in MLB, including Texas (and Atlanta, San Diego…). I would have preferred a legit closer, but no team has everything.

There are still 42 games to go before the real season begins. Lynn should have another 8-9 starts.

This team will obviously lose again. What the heck, they have to face Sandy Alcantara tonight. Maybe Gonsolin can go head to head with him.

This is a very fun team right now.

Badger

All I was hoping for from Lynn was an innings eater every 5th day for the rest of the year. In fact, I’m still hoping for that. 2 expect an ERA under 2 is 2 much 2 ask.

One too many twos?

Alcantara vs Gonsolin. We are favored by 1.5. 8.5 O/U. I’ll take the Dodgers, 5.5 to 4.

Bluto

The Joe Davis call of Barnes’ dinger was excellent IMO.

Bumsrap

Silence is golden

Bumsrap

A quick note. Koufax was the Cy when there was only one Cy instead of a NL and AL one.

Oldbear48

True Fred. 1966 was the last year they had a single recipient. LA teams won 5 straight. Big D in 62, Sandy in 63-65-66 and Dean Chance of the Angels in 64.

Oldbear48

Dodgers signed Kolten Wong to a minor league contract. Insurance in case of injury. I have a choice for another reclamation project, Luke Weaver was released today by the Reds.

Jeff Dominique

I was thinking the same thing about Luke Weaver…except the Dodgers already have 96 RHP in their system, and many MLB ready or near MB ready. They should not be blocked by Weaver. That being said, if the Dodgers pitching gurus actually see something that can be “fixed” why not give it a shot. But if he is a RH version of Robbie Erlin, I would pass.

Badger

Could he help in the remaining 42 games? I doubt it, but his ERA is about the same that Lynn’s was. The one thing he has going that most of the other 96 don’t is Major League experience. He pitched against us a couple weeks ago. Maybe the Dodgers saw something they liked.

Oldbear48

Just in, the Dodgers Sunday game against the Marlins has been moved to Saturday and the Dodgers will play a day-night doubleheader against the Marlins. Miller-Urias still the scheduled starters. Although they could use an opener since they are going to get two days of before they play in Cleveland. The reason is Hurricane Hilary. They finally named one after the wicked witch of Arkansas.

Fred Vogel

You just can’t help yourself, can you, Bear? Stick to baseball.

Dionysus

Jesus Christ man. STFU

Bumsrap

That was ugly Bear.

Badger

Why Bear?

Oldbear48

It was meant to be a joke, obviously some people did not find it funny. My bad.

Bumsrap

My hesitation in picking Koufax versus Kershaw would be about length. Would 5 years of Koufax be better than 10 years of Kershaw? Then there is the height of the mound difference and the amount of foul territory that was reduced from Koufax’ time and Kershaw’s time. And, hitters didn’t wear helmets when Koufax pitched or elbow guards.

Badger

And what about asking Kershaw to start 82 games and complete 54 of them in two years?

Bumsrap

Especially that too.

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