Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw removed from perfect game bid after seven spotless innings in season debut

Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw was removed from a perfect game bid on Wednesday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. Kershaw, in his season debut, struck out 13 batters through seven perfect frames. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts then removed Kershaw to begin the eighth inning, inserting lefty reliever Alex Vesia. Vesia subsequently surrendered a single to Gary Sánchez, dashing any hopes Los Angeles had of making history.

Kershaw’s pitch count was at 80 upon his removal. The truncated spring owed to the owner-imposed lockout had left him stretched out to around 75 pitches. Roberts, for better or worse, opted to err on the side of caution with his longtime staff anchor.

The Dodgers were leading by a 6-0 score entering the eighth thanks to some timely offense. Cody Bellinger, Austin Barnes, and Gavin Lux all connected for solo home runs in the eighth, extending Los Angeles’ lead from 3-0 to 6-0.

The only perfect game in Dodgers history was thrown by Sandy Koufax in September 1965. Koufax, who struck out 14 members of the Chicago Cubs, received just enough offense from his lineup on that fateful day: the Dodgers finished with one run on a pair of baserunners; neither team had a hit through the seventh inning.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 13, 2022 at 03:32 PM | 191 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: April 13, 2022 at 05:29 PM (#6071580)
I understand why this happened, but I hate that this happened. Screw the rest of the Dodgers season. He was at 80 pitches. Let him go.

Although I wonder if there was any argument from Kershaw. Was anyone watching that can say if Kershaw looked ok with it?
   2. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 13, 2022 at 05:54 PM (#6071584)
This is not okay
   3. The Duke Posted: April 13, 2022 at 05:54 PM (#6071585)
If it's a no-hitter I get it but if it's a perfect game what's the worst case ? 18 pitches in each of next two innings ? He was averaging about 13. As soon as perfect game is gone, yank him.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 13, 2022 at 06:04 PM (#6071587)
Go MLB! Suck all the fun out of baseball!
   5. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 13, 2022 at 06:05 PM (#6071588)
Although I wonder if there was any argument from Kershaw. Was anyone watching that can say if Kershaw looked ok with it?
Clayton Kershaw says it was “the right decision” to pull him after 80 pitches. “Blame it on the lockout. Blame it on my not picking up a ball for three months (during the offseason)”

https://twitter.com/billplunkettocr/status/1514332471554359313
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 13, 2022 at 06:15 PM (#6071590)
Clayton Kershaw says it was “the right decision” to pull him after 80 pitches. “Blame it on the lockout. Blame it on my not picking up a ball for three months (during the offseason)”


Why would Kershaw not pick up a ball for three months? That's nuts.
   7. CraigK Posted: April 13, 2022 at 06:30 PM (#6071591)
Why would Kershaw not pick up a ball for three months? That's nuts.


Who's on the hook if he blows his arm out practicing in the middle of the lockout? (serious question; i honestly do not know)
   8. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 13, 2022 at 06:31 PM (#6071592)
The thing is that it wasn't some 100 pitch, 4K, 4BB no hitter going into the 8th; it was an 80 pitch, 13K perfecto going into the 8th... You're talking history here.

This guy already had 1 perfecto blown by a Hanley error on a play a good LL player would've made, why not let him go for another few batters?

Modern MLB is just not as fun as it used to be for fans, it just isn't.

I don't care that Kershaw seems to toeing the corporate line here; I call shenanigans on that, it sounds like bullsh*t. MLB players are insanely competitive and there's no way he walked off the bump after the 7th and thought, ok, I'm done.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 13, 2022 at 06:46 PM (#6071593)
In 1995, after a 3 week spring training due to the strike, Kevin Appier was lifted in the 7th on Opening Day with a no-hitter intact because he hit his pitch limit. So this isn't necessarily an analytics thing.
   10. JRVJ Posted: April 13, 2022 at 06:52 PM (#6071594)
5, Without knowing the full story, I'm taking Kershaw's words as a signal that he knew he couldn't go the distance.


7, Kershaw was actually a FA during the lockout.

Whatever you may think about the decision to pull him, I can understand why he wouldn't want to risk his arm.
   11. CraigK Posted: April 13, 2022 at 06:57 PM (#6071596)
7, Kershaw was actually a FA during the lockout.


Oh right, he was; so if he shreds his UCL in the middle of January he's losing millions of dollars of future earnings.
   12. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 13, 2022 at 07:09 PM (#6071597)
I don't care that Kershaw seems to toeing the corporate line here; I call shenanigans on that, it sounds like bullsh*t. MLB players are insanely competitive and there's no way he walked off the bump after the 7th and thought, ok, I'm done.
That is pretty much exactly what happened… if you actually watched the game.
   13. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 13, 2022 at 07:11 PM (#6071598)
80 pitches. Good christ.
   14. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 13, 2022 at 07:51 PM (#6071605)
That is pretty much exactly what happened… if you actually watched the game.


Nope, didn't watch the game, was sleeping here in Sydney. So it was clear he was done at the end of the 7th? If that's the case, then they must have told him early on, "no matter how this goes, you're coming out after 80 or so pitches."

I still think it stinks.
   15. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 13, 2022 at 09:37 PM (#6071620)
The previous time Kershaw was on a mound in a game that mattered, he left after 10 batters - and five hits - because of a barking elbow that kept him out of the postseason. He and the Dodgers had every reason to play it cautiously.
   16. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 13, 2022 at 09:43 PM (#6071622)
MLB players are insanely competitive and there's no way he walked off the bump after the 7th and thought, ok, I'm done.


As Brandon McCarthy said on Twitter: "Nobody wants to be pulled."
   17. Ron J Posted: April 13, 2022 at 10:14 PM (#6071626)
I hate it, but: the game was no longer competitive (granted I believe the decision was made before they scored 3 more) and they have every reason to be super risk adverse with Kershaw.

I think I'd have made the same decision.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: April 13, 2022 at 11:07 PM (#6071630)
Johan Santana once allowed a hit mid-game for the Mets, but the blind umpire didn't notice - and replay was still a year or two away.

that blown call led to Santana tossing more than 130 pitches in the game, allowing only the unnoticed hit in a game that still stands in the record books as the only "no-hitter" in Mets history.

I'm actually not one of those who insists that it was that particular game that definitively led to the end of Santana.

that said, it's a decent correlation - which of course does not guarantee cause and effect.

by June 1, I want Kershaw to continue pitching in this scenario. pitch count is not everything; it's also how many pitches in a stressful spot.

welp, no one ever got on base and the Dodgers won 7-0. not a lot of stress there.

still, this is not the hill I die on re pulling pitchers too early, for reasons enumerated above.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 13, 2022 at 11:57 PM (#6071634)
I'm actually not one of those who insists that it was that particular game that definitively led to the end of Santana.

that said, it's a decent correlation - which of course does not guarantee cause and effect.


Except that Santana tore ligaments in his shoulder near the end of 2010 and missed all of 2011. Then threw the no-no in 2012.

Unfortunately Santana's end was already coming, 130+ pitch no-hitter or not.
   20. Hombre Brotani Posted: April 14, 2022 at 04:09 AM (#6071638)
I hate it, but: the game was no longer competitive (granted I believe the decision was made before they scored 3 more) and they have every reason to be super risk adverse with Kershaw.

I think I'd have made the same decision.
I think if you don't pull Kershaw then, you're stuck. If Kershaw goes out and throws a 1-2-3 eighth inning, then circumstances make it impossible to pull him for the ninth. Everyone wants to see Kershaw throw a perfect game, but I keep coming back to the fact that Sandy Koufax retired at 30. It's a bummer we didn't get a perfecto, but let's not make it more than it is.
   21. John Reynard Posted: April 14, 2022 at 05:45 AM (#6071639)
I understand why this happened, but I hate that this happened. Screw the rest of the Dodgers season. He was at 80 pitches. Let him go.

Although I wonder if there was any argument from Kershaw. Was anyone watching that can say if Kershaw looked ok with it?


I was watching the game on MLB.TV.

Kershaw bowed to the crowd after the 7th, before even entering the dugout. It seemed like he knew he was done after 7 and 80 pitches, regardless.

I agree with his sentiment on Twitter "blame the lockout for this."

   22. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: April 14, 2022 at 07:59 AM (#6071643)
80 pitches. Good christ.

I will now root against the Dodgers. Forever.

Everyone wants to see Kershaw throw a perfect game, but I keep coming back to the fact that Sandy Koufax retired at 30.

Koufax didn't retire at 30 because he pitched a perfect game, he retired because he had thrown eighty bazillion pitches in his career, in an era in which pitchers were expected to throw eighty bazillion pitches. The perfecto had nothing to do with it.
   23. dejarouehg Posted: April 14, 2022 at 08:28 AM (#6071646)
Oh right, he was; so if he shreds his UCL in the middle of January he's losing millions of dollars of future earnings.


True, but I would think that if you're a competitor and you've already pocketed $257Million minimum (granted, I know taxes in CA are despicably high,) you'd tell Dave Roberts "you take me out and I'm going to neuter you!"

Not a Dodgers fan but I think this is mostly that beholden to analytics at all costs, automaton Dave Roberts. This is his MO. Disgusting.

Like it or not, the consequences of sabermetrics adherence are a much less entertaining product.
   24. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 14, 2022 at 09:21 AM (#6071650)
Yes, Dave Roberts, that well-known analytics nerd who never picked up a baseball in his life.
   25. Lassus Posted: April 14, 2022 at 09:33 AM (#6071652)
I don't care that Kershaw seems to toeing the corporate line here; I call shenanigans on that, it sounds like bullshit.

Really, really disagree. I don't think anyone here bitching up a storm knows how Kershaw's arm feels, or how he feels about his arm.

EDIT: And they should admit that they actually DON'T give a shit about that at all.
   26. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 14, 2022 at 09:38 AM (#6071654)
Not a Dodgers fan but I think this is mostly that beholden to analytics at all costs, automaton Dave Roberts. This is his MO. Disgusting.

Agreed. Roberts also made waves here when punting a game a few years ago, having Kiké Hernandez make his professional pitching debut in a tie game in extra innings because he had already burned through his entire bullpen and couldn't dare ask a rotation starter to start getting ready. It worked. Hernandez promptly untied the game, walking the first two hitters and giving up a homer to the third.
   27. Ron J Posted: April 14, 2022 at 09:43 AM (#6071656)
#22 He retired because he was in chronic pain and the Dodgers made it crystal clear they had no intention of backing off his workload.

Seriously, the key moment may well have been a 1966 spring training game where they pushed him when he wanted to come out because Alston was afraid of having to settle for a "7 inning pitcher"

Like if all you could have was 7 innings of Koufax (every fifth day instead of every fourth), you'd rather say "nope".
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 14, 2022 at 10:21 AM (#6071660)
Like it or not, the consequences of sabermetrics adherence are a much less entertaining product.

100%. We really need massive rule/equipment changes.

Move the mound back and lower it, increase the drag on the ball, thicken the bat handles and make the bats heavier, make the gloves smaller, enforce a 15 second clock between pitches and prohibit batters stepping out if there's no contact, restrict the number of pitchers on the roster, and the number of times a guy can be farmed.

We need K/9 down below 7, HR/9 below .8, and no more than 2 RPs per game on average.
   29. BDC Posted: April 14, 2022 at 10:40 AM (#6071663)
the consequences of sabermetrics adherence are a much less entertaining product

I don't know if it's sabermetrics, really. The game got much less entertaining during the deadball era of the 1900s, and again during the deadball 1960s. The walk rate c1950 was higher than today; that wasn't exciting. Watching guys throw to first base six times a PA back when everybody was stealing bases in the 1970s was no thrill. Optimal strategies in sports often get boring, and various sports arrived at them long before benefit of computers.

But adjustments got made and aesthetics improved. The problem today is a failure to confront the aesthetic problems; flailing around trying stuff that addresses non-problems.
   30. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 14, 2022 at 10:50 AM (#6071664)
As we see in this thread, the atavistic aspect of sports fandom persists. I understand that pulling Kershaw is right, and that he’s right to support it/request it, but…..I still feel like there should be a difference between cheering for a sports team, and supporting the organization that I’d most like to work for.

The image of older fan who want ownership to #### over athletes because he’s fundamentally jealous of the players looms here. But I want the players to do epic stuff! If they’re JUST guys who are much richer than me with much better working conditions, something’s lost.
   31. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 14, 2022 at 10:52 AM (#6071665)
29 is a good post…people here always #### on 80s baseball and how weak the talent was, but (I’m 55) it was the best-balanced version of the sport I’ve watched.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2022 at 10:59 AM (#6071667)
these are all 21 times a P got pulled after 7 or more no-hit innings

tons of different reasons why they departed...
   33. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: April 14, 2022 at 11:20 AM (#6071669)
haven't seen it mentioned in the thread, but the AP article says Kershaw and Roberts consulted after 6 and agreed that Kershaw would come out after 7 or at 85 pitches.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 14, 2022 at 11:30 AM (#6071672)

29 is a good post…people here always #### on 80s baseball and how weak the talent was, but (I’m 55) it was the best-balanced version of the sport I’ve watched.


I think it got balanced again right around 2012 as the PEDs era deflated. There was a bit of "year of the pitcher", but home runs fell to just a bit higher than 80s levels, steals spiked briefly, and for about five years it seemed like a very entertaining brand of baseball.
   35. The Duke Posted: April 14, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6071673)
Any time a business gets so big that the management starts focusing on risk management, the magic slowly leaves. It's a consequence of MLB being really big business. The Dodgers absolutely do not want Kershaw throwing there. Roberts has the best job in baseball (I'm sure mattingly calls him every day to remind him of that ) and doesn't want to upset the Dodger overlords. Kershaw makes $30 million a year and has several years left if his load is managed correctly.

As a fan it sucks. One day Kershaw will be sitting in his private jet on the way to a private African safari Reflecting on his HOF career and wondering if he should have thrown 30 more pitches.....then Some beautiful stewardess will pour him another top shelf whisky and he'll think "nah".

The cardinals have a throwback named Adam Wainwright - no way he comes out there. He wants to go 9 every start.
   36. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: April 14, 2022 at 11:39 AM (#6071674)
Hopefully his private jet has Hankook tires.
   37. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 14, 2022 at 11:56 AM (#6071677)
It's a consequence of MLB being really big business. The Dodgers absolutely do not want Kershaw throwing there.


When the Dodgers owned the rights to Sandy Koufax in perpetuity, they asked him to throw 330 innings a year. The Dodgers do not own the rights to Clayton Kershaw in perpetuity, but their primary concern seems to be making sure his career lasts as long as possible. That seems backwards to me.

It is interesting to note, though, that Kershaw has already thrown more innings for the Dodgers than Koufax did.
   38. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 14, 2022 at 12:01 PM (#6071678)
I should know this but somehow I don't. Is this the first time a pitcher has been pulled while throwing a perfect game?

It famously happened in the final game of the Japan series once. But I don't know if it's ever happened in America.
   39. Lassus Posted: April 14, 2022 at 12:01 PM (#6071679)
haven't seen it mentioned in the thread, but the AP article says Kershaw and Roberts consulted after 6 and agreed that Kershaw would come out after 7 or at 85 pitches.

No one cares. They're angry NOW. /Homer
   40. Adam Starblind Posted: April 14, 2022 at 12:10 PM (#6071681)
Thanks a lot, nerds!
   41. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 14, 2022 at 12:19 PM (#6071684)
I should know this but somehow I don't. Is this the first time a pitcher has been pulled while throwing a perfect game?

It famously happened in the final game of the Japan series once. But I don't know if it's ever happened in America.
Dave Roberts pulled Rich Hill in the 7th inning of a perfect game. Hill was pretty mad about it so it was fairly different than this situation with Kershaw.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2022 at 12:42 PM (#6071688)
yes, per the list on post 32, Hill in 2016 is the only other pitcher pulled during a perfect game after 7 or more innings.
   43. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 14, 2022 at 12:53 PM (#6071689)
So many thoughts about this, some of them conflicting, to be honest:

1) I get why some would gravitate to the Koufax comparsion (dominant lefty in LA, arm trouble ended his career, etc.), but Koufax is an outlier of all outliers. I mean, he is even an outlier compared to other Hall of Famers (except Dizzy Dean). It is crazy that in most walks of life, technology, knowledge, and innovation have allowed people and machines to do more things, for longer, more efficiently. It should be generally safer to throw a baseball now than it was over the past 125+ years, because we should know a lot more about the science and physiology of pitching, and we have nearly limitless data about cause and effects. I don't know how much more Kershaw could be cruising along than he was - 80 pitches through 7; 11 pitches in the 7th; no ball hit out of the infield in the 7th.

If one was arguing that there are data showing diminished effectiveness as you go from 80 to 105 pitches, then I understand it...but that is not what the Dodgers were worried about here. They were worried about significantly increased risk of injury between 80 and 105 pitches (and, BTW, if he gives up a hit on the 84th pitch, then take him out) - and I find it hard to believe there is hard data suggesting Clayton Kershaw's risk of injury was measurably higher in the 81st to 105th pitch .

2) Major league sports are an entertainment business; this is why players get paid well. If nobody thought watching the games was entertaining, the money would collapse. There have been over 218,000 MLB games played in history; 23 of them were perfect games. That about 1/100th of 1%, or about 1 in every 10,000 games. Then you add in that he had already struck out 13...and yet, done all of this in only 80 pitches? And, that he is a famous, Hall of Fame pitcher doing it at Dodger Stadium? This is about history, entertainment, the making of memories and legends, etc. Baseball needs a lot more of this sort of story-telling and moment-making, and as much as I am a sabermetric nerd for baseball, this is ridiculous. It is crazy how much of this integral part of the game has been washed away over the course of my lifetime.

3) Relatedly, this would almost certainly not happen during equivalent moments in other major sports. Tiger Woods probably shouldn't have been playing four rounds at The Masters last week. The variability of his health based on how hard he pushed it over those four days was likely much greater than the increased risk of injury of throwing 25 more pitches last night. And yet - Tiger Woods (who needs nothing else to be an all-time legend of the sport) got the magnitude of the moment, and created ridiculous amounts of energy, enthusiasm, ratings, and excitement for The Masters. Clayton Kershaw is not as great at baseball as Tiger Woods has been at golf - but Kershaw is a Hall of Famer, and his peak is an historic peak, for an iconic franchise. But whether it is him, or Trout, or virtually any other superstar in the sport, there seems like a general inability, indifference, or unawareness to break through to the general population and create the iconic moments that can widen the fan base beyond diehards. Again, it is an entertainment business. Reggie Jackson totally understood this. Ken Griffey Jr. Pedro Martinez. Obviously, Babe Ruth. NBA players seem to get this to a much greater extent, as do NFL players. Why do MLB players seemingly totally miss this?

4) All of this said, if Kershaw indeed was like, "I only want to throw 85 pitches tonight", then you can't lay that on Roberts. The idea behind this sort of management is that it extends careers, and keep pitchers healthy, right? Well, the last time Kershaw started more than 28 games, or threw more than 178 innings in a season, was 2015, when he was 27 years old. Has the last 6+ years represented the healthiest version of Kershaw that could have happened? Are we sure that this advanced level of load management is producing corresponding levels of increased good health and effectiveness?
   44. Eddie Gaedel Posted: April 14, 2022 at 01:14 PM (#6071693)
Kershaw makes $30 million a year and has several years left if his load is managed correctly.


Actually, he's on a 1-year, $17M contract.
   45. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 14, 2022 at 01:19 PM (#6071695)
Just want to say everything SBPT says is pretty accurate IMHO. The biggest part of this to me is it was the 7th inning. He had 25-30 pitches max. left to go. Either he was getting El Perfecto or he was giving up a hit.
   46. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 14, 2022 at 01:32 PM (#6071698)
According to this article in the Athletic, Kershaw himself didn't care about the perfect game, felt he was tiring (his slider was "terrible" in the last two innings) and told Roberts after the 6th inning that he wanted to cap it at 85 pitches. Assuming that's true, really the only argument left is that he had some sort of obligation to the fans to try to go for it - and I don't think that's a good one.
   47. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 14, 2022 at 01:40 PM (#6071701)
An older, expensive, injury-prone pitcher, who hadn’t had normal offseason workouts, and only a shortened spring training, throws 80 pitches in his 1st start, in 38° weather, and some are acting like it’s a travesty of some kind that he was taken out after 7 innings? How many pitchers threw more than 80 pitches in their 1st start this season? The real problem is the low threshold for Internet outrage.
   48. John DiFool2 Posted: April 14, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6071704)
...because Alston was afraid of having to settle for a "7 inning pitcher"


LOL. There hasn't been a 7 inning pitcher in the majors (innings/start) for a number of years now.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2022 at 01:59 PM (#6071707)
How many pitchers threw more than 80 pitches in their 1st start this season?

well, several of the Giants just did, including Alex Cobb (who makes Kershaw look like in-their-prime Mickey Lolich or Wilbur Wood in the "workhorse" category) - not that I have much of an issue with your overall point.

fwiw Cobb pitched the 5th inning of a 10-1 game with his team leading, allowed a second run, got his 9th K of the day, and collected a W.
   50. You can keep your massive haul Posted: April 14, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6071716)
Maybe Roberts should have put in somebody better than Vesia and tried for the perfecto...
   51. Darren Posted: April 14, 2022 at 05:03 PM (#6071741)
The game changed, just like it has so many times before. You don't see two aces battling through extra innings. Nobody wins 300 games. Etc. Why can't I get worked up about this stuff anymore?
   52. Zach Posted: April 14, 2022 at 05:37 PM (#6071748)
The problem is that the players have internalized the gutless, corporate attitude that used to be the realm of the front office.

Clayton Kershaw has made $274,701,142 in his career. He was at 80 pitches. There was no reason he couldn't come out and chase after greatness, he just didn't want to.
   53. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 14, 2022 at 05:51 PM (#6071751)
There was no reason he couldn't come out and chase after greatness, he just didn't want to.
Except for the significant risk of injury from overextending a gassed pitcher who wasn’t stretched out nearly enough to pitch the ~ 105 pitches he’d need to finish the game.
   54. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 14, 2022 at 06:02 PM (#6071753)
The game changed, just like it has so many times before. You don't see two aces battling through extra innings. Nobody wins 300 games. Etc. Why can't I get worked up about this stuff anymore?

For me, at least, this is a microcosm of the general reasons for my loss of enthusiasm for baseball in general. Decisions like this make the game less entertaining, ergo I am less entertained by the game than I was 10-15 years ago, and more inclined to seek out other entertainment options.
   55. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 14, 2022 at 07:19 PM (#6071763)
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the decision to come out after 80 pitches; regardless of whose decision it was; regardless of whether it is part of a large-scale change in how the game is played and managed; can we all agree on this: That decisions like this make watching major league baseball less entertaining?

And major league baseball is, at the end of the day, an entertainment product. If changes in the way the game is played are obviously less entertaining, then this is a problem.

In terms of the argument Kershaw was (I believe) making - which included not being properly stretched out because of the lockout - I find that disappointing, too. If I was a professional athlete, particularly one with recent injury problems and in the back part of my career, I'd definitely be working to be in optimum condition during the lockout. He's made $275m in his career - you're telling Kershaw couldn't do a fraction of what Tom Brady (who is more than a decade older) does, and be ready for a shortened spring training? C'mon.
   56. Zach Posted: April 14, 2022 at 08:21 PM (#6071772)
Except for the significant risk of injury from overextending a gassed pitcher who wasn’t stretched out nearly enough to pitch the ~ 105 pitches he’d need to finish the game.

He can throw 105 pitches easily, with no more risk than any other 25 pitches he's thrown in his long career.

He just didn't want to.
   57. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2022 at 08:50 PM (#6071778)
I don't tend to be as inclined to get angry at these changes (usually), but agree that I just find the product less entertaining than before (the Rays pitchers use, that did/does get my goat).

so I don't watch it as often anymore. that's more MLB's problem than mine, I think (writ large).

it does intrigue me that a pitcher who already has a ticket punched for the HOF and has made more than $200M is worried about a career-ending injury. has there been a pitcher in recent years who hurt his arm enough that it also impacted his post-career day-to-day living?
   58. Hank Gillette Posted: April 14, 2022 at 09:36 PM (#6071783)
Like it or not, the consequences of sabermetrics adherence are a much less entertaining product.
Not necessarily. Prolonging the careers of player leads to more entertainment.
   59. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2022 at 09:42 PM (#6071785)
Not necessarily. Prolonging the careers of player leads to more entertainment.

does it, though?

just broke my cardinal rule of not watching any sporting events in real time anymore. I just get going anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes behind, and then force the game to match the pace I prefer (and frankly, remember). catch up, run some errands or check the computer after freezing the picture, rinse and repeat.

tried the bottom of the third inning of Yankees-Blue Jays. UNwatchable. as even the Yankees announcers lamented the lack of a pitch clock with "Human Rain Delay" (ok, that's mine) Kevin Gausman on the mound.

in other news, one Yankees batter hit the ball twice on one swing - a feeble bit of contact, then again on the followthrough. wound up being a single and then a run.

is that even legal?
it is reviewable?
YES crew didn't address it (assuming I didn't nod off during the various 60-second "action" delays).
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: April 14, 2022 at 10:07 PM (#6071791)
Yes, as long as it’s on one swing. You obviously don’t recall the playoff game when Hunter Pence hit the ball three times on the same swing. He pulled it to the left side then the ball sliced back toward the middle of the field, which completely flummoxed fellow BTF staple, Pete Kozma.

You probably just fast forwarded through it.
   61. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2022 at 10:33 PM (#6071795)
thanks.
did not see that play, and wished the YES guys tonight would have clarified as being legal.

there was an unfortunate golfer named T.C. Chen who seemed headed to an easy win at the 1985 U.S. Open before he hit a chip shot that almost identically was hit, then hit again. in golf, that's a penalty of one stroke.

Chen immediately collapsed, and is forever known in golf circles as "Two Chip Chen."

never saw it in a baseball game.
   62. baxter Posted: April 14, 2022 at 10:45 PM (#6071797)
For you trivia buffs, who was the pitcher opposing Koufax's perfecto who allowed but one run (and I think one hit)?
Hint: think Eagles, sorta
   63. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2022 at 11:26 PM (#6071801)
know it off the top of my head but won't comment other than - I like the clue

:)

maybe "The Eagles" helps rather than the NFL team?
   64. baxter Posted: April 14, 2022 at 11:58 PM (#6071803)
Indeed, yes, but there are trivia mavens on this site I'm sure who don't want too much, if any, of a hint.
I think the factoid appeared on the back of the pitcher's baseball card, either '66 or '67 (either way, the card's probably worth a nickel in 2022 nickels, much less 1960's nickels).
   65. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: April 15, 2022 at 02:56 AM (#6071809)
Prolonging the careers of player leads to more entertainment.


Is the possible chance of an extra Kershaw start this season more entertaining than seeing him throw a perfect game? There's no way to quantify this stuff, so we'll never get an objective answer, but I feel like sports as entertainment need moments of pure, unadulterated greatness. If we give those up for chances at extended moments of goodness, it's my belief that the overall entertainment value is lower. Your mileage may vary.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: April 15, 2022 at 08:32 AM (#6071811)
If Kershaw legitimately felt like he was out of gas, then it's obviously the right call.

My fear is more along the lines of what Zach said. That pitchers now have been so conditioned to believe some pitch beyond X is going to lead to certain injury (despite no real evidence to support that assertion) and thus convince themselves of impending doom even if they feel just fine at the moment.
   67. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:01 AM (#6071813)
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the decision to come out after 80 pitches; regardless of whose decision it was; regardless of whether it is part of a large-scale change in how the game is played and managed; can we all agree on this: That decisions like this make watching major league baseball less entertaining?


SBPT again man. It's really this simple. I'm not "outraged" or anything but this is a baseball site and I'm discussing a baseball issue. As noted if Kershaw said he was done, so be it. But I think that was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think he went into the game thinking "80-85 pitches" so when he got there he told himself he was done. If he had planned on going 9 I think it would have been different.
   68. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:37 AM (#6071819)
Major league sports are an entertainment business; this is why players get paid well. If nobody thought watching the games was entertaining, the money would collapse. There have been over 218,000 MLB games played in history; 23 of them were perfect games. That about 1/100th of 1%, or about 1 in every 10,000 games. Then you add in that he had already struck out 13...and yet, done all of this in only 80 pitches? And, that he is a famous, Hall of Fame pitcher doing it at Dodger Stadium? This is about history, entertainment, the making of memories and legends, etc


I don't know if I agree with all of this.

One of the things I've found interesting in this discussion is that there's been so much ink spilled on this, but I don't recall nearly as much spilled when guys get pulled with a chance to say, have a 20/21 K game, which is also historic, entertaining and much more rare than a perfect game.

Corey Kluber asked to be pulled after 8 innings in his 18 strikeout game. He'd thrown 113 pitches and would throw 121 later in the season.

Sale got pulled by Cora with 17 after 7 and seemed...less pleased. He'd thrown 108 and would throw 116 later in the year.

Johan got pulled with 17 after 8 IP in late August for the Twins after 112. He'd thrown 118 at another point in the season.

Anibal Sanchez got pulled after 8 with 17 Ks. He was at 121 pitches, but hey, the Tigers let him go for 130 less than a month later.

I understand that pitch counts can escalate much quicker in these games than a PG. But if it is, as the quoted piece above claims, about history, and memories, why is a chance to tie/break an all-time record not worth pushing your pitch count to a season high?

Heck, forget about pitchers even. What about the game where Matt Carpenter had three home runs, was guaranteed to come up again, and got pulled, because the Cardinals had a double-header the next day? Were people this upset at losing the possibility of Carpenter hitting 4 HRs in a game? That's historical, and more rare than a perfect game.

It seems like this outrage is very specific to perfect games.
   69. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:47 AM (#6071821)
Also, a note on this "only 80 pitches" thing.

Kershaw was on pace to throw 102. Which is not a lot, relatively speaking. But it's also a pitch count he's only hit 9 times in his last 86 starts. It seems pretty obvious that he's just going to be that kind of pitcher going forward, especially considering he's injured every season.

I think it's entirely possible that 102 pitches will represent his season-high. If you think he should max it out for the sake of the PG, okay. But we don't seem to require pitchers and managers to do that for the possibility of 20/21 Ks
   70. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:49 AM (#6071823)
68 - I remember watching the Anibal game and being annoyed when he got lifted. I was watching the Sale game and wasn't too annoyed. Not sure why that all is. I think the thing about Kershaw's game is that the numbers seemed VERY manageable. Sale for example, bare minimum was going to have to throw 117 and was probably climbing to 125-130 to get to 20/21. Sanchez would have been looking at 140+. Kershaw was looking realistically at 105-110 pitches to achieve history. That doesn't seem like a number that should be a concern.
   71. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:56 AM (#6071825)
69 addressing my point in 70 (which it seems I was typing at the exact same time) and it's a fair point. I think the difference in "maxing out" is that the pitch counts are still reasonable. Also as I said earlier I think a big part of his season high being around 105 or so is that he is conditioned mentally to do that. He doesn't enter games thinking "I'm going nine" or "150 pitches or bust" he's thinking "well 85 or 90 should do the trick."

And to be clear, I'm not saying starters SHOULD be going nine innings or 150 pitches but they should try to get there. Let the manager be the guy to reign you in if necessary. Your goal and your expectation should be two different things. Rafael Devers should have his goal this year be 50 homers and 60 doubles. That doesn't mean it's a bust if he doesn't do that but both of those numbers are feasible for him. You should be setting goals that are your upper limits.
   72. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:12 PM (#6071849)
I understand that pitch counts can escalate much quicker in these games than a PG. But if it is, as the quoted piece above claims, about history, and memories, why is a chance to tie/break an all-time record not worth pushing your pitch count to a season high?

Heck, forget about pitchers even. What about the game where Matt Carpenter had three home runs, was guaranteed to come up again, and got pulled, because the Cardinals had a double-header the next day? Were people this upset at losing the possibility of Carpenter hitting 4 HRs in a game? That's historical, and more rare than a perfect game.


#68 had an excellent list of counter examples. Here's the difference, in my opinion:

1) Unlike all of those other pitching examples (where the number of pitches thrown at the point of making a decision was 113, 108, 112, and 121), Kershaw had thrown far, far fewer pitches, and done it in a far more efficient manner. He had thrown between 28 and 41 pitches less than any of these examples. I'm not saying Kershaw should be 1973 Nolan Ryan out there, throwing 200 pitches in a high-K, high-BB no-hitter or something, but I'll be very blunt: If Clayton Kershaw (and the Dodgers) are so worried about a major injury that he can't throw more than 80 pitches during a perfect game, then maybe the real question is whether or not him continuing to pitch is a good idea. Is it that risky? Maybe it is? He's already made $275 million by age 34, and he's already going into the HOF. If he wants to be able to lift his kids onto his shoulders, or be able to raise his arms without pain for the last 50 years of his life, maybe the risk/reward ratio is even worse than we are all assuming.

2) A perfect game is different from a no-hitter, or a 20K game kind of thing, for one big reason: As Nolan Ryan showed several times, you can throw a no hitter, or strikeout a ton of batters in a game, while not knowing where the ball is going half the time. In a 20K game, you could give up a bunch of baserunners along the way, via walk, hit, or HBP. In either a no-hitter or a high-K game, you'll be pitching from the stretch at some point. You'll probably have to run to cover a base at some point. There could even be an accumulation of baserunners that could threaten your team's lead in the game. In the pur suit of that type of history, you could easily thrown a ton more pitches.

But the one situation that is not like that is the pursuit of a perfect game, especially when seven innings of that pursuit is already in the books! The second somebody on the other team reaches via a hit, a walk, an error, an HBP - anything! - the pursuit is over, and you bring in a reliever. And although an at-bat could theoretically take many pitches - a 10-pitch AB, for example, that ends in a strikeout - he threw an average of less than 11.5 pitches per inning up to that point. And if he has a 10-pitch AB in the 8th inning, even if ends with an out preserving the perfect game...then you can still take him out!

According to the press account, Roberts and Kershaw had agreed to limit him to about 85 pitches - which they probably thought would be 5-6 innings. So guess what happens when you have a f***ing perfect game through seven on only 80 pitches? The two guys and the pitching coach get together after the top of the 7th, and you talk about it:

Roberts: "How you feeling, Clayton?"
Kershaw (or pretty much any athlete older than eight years old): "I'm feeling good, coach."
Roberts: "I know we aren't supposed to mention this out loud, but you're throwing a f***king perfect game. You haven't even hit 85 pitches yet. Want to go out for the 8th, and keep you on a short leash, see what happens, but be smart about it?"
Kershaw: "Sounds good to me."

Isn't this what would happen in almost any other similar circumstance?

FWIW: As a Red Sox fan, I will forever love Dave Roberts, without whom we don't win the 2004 World Series. He is a classy, smart, likable guy for whom I will always have a special place in my heart as a Sox fan. And Kershaw is a Hall of Famer, and has been a wonderful pitcher, total respect. I am just baffled about this situation, though, and think it is actually a microcosm of baseball's growing tone-deafness relative to other sports in terms of entertainment value.
   73. Zach Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:16 PM (#6071852)
It seems like this outrage is very specific to perfect games.

Yeah, but perfect games and no-hitters are the rarest and most elusive things in baseball. There are fantastic pitchers who've never come close to either. There are people who've spent their lives around baseball and never seen one. To have something that special be in the process of happening and let it go just because you didn't feel like rising to the occasion...

It's not a crime or anything, but it makes baseball less interesting.
   74. SoSH U at work Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6071854)
I do think the big difference between the pursuit of those extra strikeouts (or even a no-hitter) is that simple baserunners aren't enough to stop it. You can keep justifying the extra batters faced. But here, the moment someone gets on, you lift him.

Also, I'm not a fan of "where's the outrage..." arguments. People can like what they want. If you prefer a 20K game to the perfect game, that's fine. But it's not like anyone else is required to feel that way.
   75. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 15, 2022 at 01:40 PM (#6071856)
I'll be very blunt: If Clayton Kershaw (and the Dodgers) are so worried about a major injury that he can't throw more than 80 pitches during a perfect game, then maybe the real question is whether or not him continuing to pitch is a good idea.
Without a normal off-season conditioning program, and only 3 weeks of spring training, Kershaw (and any other similarly situated pitcher) was going to be on a short leash for his first start of the season. Later in the season, it might be a different story.

   76. NaOH Posted: April 15, 2022 at 02:19 PM (#6071857)
On Wednesday Eovaldi threw 101 pitches. He's the only pitcher to reach the 100-pitch mark this season.
   77. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: April 15, 2022 at 04:11 PM (#6071874)
I have my problems with the current brand of baseball - and even more with the owners/commissioner. That said, Dave Roberts absolutely and unequivocally did the right thing if his job is to care about the Los Angeles Dodgers and/or Clayton Kershaw. His job is not now, never has been, and will never be caring about what a bunch of internet heroes think about heart, desire, magic, history, pitch counts, or the good old days.
   78. Howie Menckel Posted: April 15, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6071875)
I believe Chris Bassitt - not the poster boy for endurance - threw 98 pitches today in 6 innings and left with a 5-1 lead.

I have no idea why Kershaw apparently sat on the couch all winter. he has hundreds of millions of dollars already - what's the risk, really?

and while this was a 7-0 final, if it was 0-0 and the Dodgers had to pull him for that and then lost the game - well, I suppose we do have to go all the way back to 2021 NL West to think of when one team lost a division race, and hence a bye, by a single game.

now, the die already was cast - basically, by Kershaw, which is why I understand the decision and don't disagree with it. but I wish the prior acts had been different.

baseball is the only sport I can think of where you hear about something awesome in a sporting event on social media that almost is complete, and you tune in and.... it goes away by player/management decision.

I was not interested in March Madness this year, but 3 or 4 times I saw live tweets to the effect of "if you're not already watching, tune to....." - and then I caught the end of an amazing comeback or upset or both.

if we're being honest, it ain't good.
NBA "load management" also sucks, because plenty of fans/chumps spend precious discretionary income to see stars come to town who are healthy and - couldn't be bothered to play that night.

but at least if a player has 49 points with 3 minutes to play and his team hasn't had a player score than many in decades - we know the player won't sit down to rest.
   79. bunyon Posted: April 15, 2022 at 05:10 PM (#6071884)
I'll be very blunt: If Clayton Kershaw (and the Dodgers) are so worried about a major injury that he can't throw more than 80 pitches during a perfect game, then maybe the real question is whether or not him continuing to pitch is a good idea.

Without a normal off-season conditioning program, and only 3 weeks of spring training, Kershaw (and any other similarly situated pitcher) was going to be on a short leash for his first start of the season. Later in the season, it might be a different story.


For the record, I think it sucks he came out, too. Like Howie, I heard about it and turned over, only to see him leave the game. I saw his last out and it was clear both that he was done and that he was perfectly fine with it. I was really disappointed. But I both understand it and am not bothered or put out. I simply turned back to the other game I watched.

Now, a lot of you seem to think that speaks ill of Kershaw or the Dodgers. And you're free to feel that way. But, look, there is a reason he's on a 1 year 17 million dollar contract and that is because no one is sure he will finish the season, much less be a workhorse. In other words, they are worried his pitching isn't a good idea. If there was confidence in his health, with his stats, he'd be on a 5 year, 200 million dollar contract. That is the real reason he came out. He's fragile. He knows he's fragile, Dave Roberts knows he's fragile, the Dodgers know he's fragile. You guys should know he's fragile. Arguing that he should just ignore that is basically saying you think he should risk his career because you wanted a rush. Which, again, you're free to ask but don't get your hopes up.
   80. Howie Menckel Posted: April 15, 2022 at 05:23 PM (#6071886)
Arguing that he should just ignore that is basically saying you think he should risk his career

but that's where the difference in opinion comes - He already HAS a first ballot Hall of Fame career and hundreds of millions of dollars.

so what is he risking, exactly?

I still have heard no claims that Kershaw hurting his arm again means he won't be able to play golf in his post-career, or properly play with his grandkids.

I found Tiger Woods to be on the other extreme regarding his 72 holes at The Masters. I only know someone well who knows someone well who knows the surgeons that performed his operation well - so add as many grains of salt as you like.

but that third-hand sentiment is that not only did Woods almost lose his leg in that car accident, playing in that tournament could have caused irrevocable damage of the sort that I see no one claiming as a risk for Kershaw.
   81. bunyon Posted: April 15, 2022 at 05:37 PM (#6071891)
Yeah, I'm not claiming it would risk his life but I think you let all the money blind you to he loves playing and being on a team. It would risk that. Pitching last year was enough to keep him out of the postseason. I mean, my thinking he should have continued is mostly, he's probably going to end up injured anyway.

My only point, and it seems to be ignored, is that he already is gutting it out by going out there at all. That ain't nothing. You don't like it, fine. But all the praise for guys who "threw more than 80" by going five and a third seems misplaced.

I, too, dislike a lot about modern baseball. It was more entertaining when men were men and the game was played faster. But, in that universe, Kershaw was done several years ago.
   82. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 15, 2022 at 05:50 PM (#6071892)
He already HAS a first ballot Hall of Fame career and hundreds of millions of dollars. so what is he risking, exactly?
Tens of millions dollars per year for another 4 or 5 years. For some reason, some here think professional athletes shouldn’t maximize their earnings in the short amount of time they have to perform at the highest level (or thereabouts). Yet we never ask why the owners don’t let the fans in for free since many have made far more than any player and really don't ‘need’ the money any more than the richest players.
   83. TJ Posted: April 15, 2022 at 06:01 PM (#6071894)
As BTF posters tend to be so analytic-focused, I find it amusing that the arguments for Kershaw going for the perfect game are some variation on “I wanted to see a perfect game”, which is a totally fanboy reaction.

There is no analytical-based reason that Kershaw should have kept pitching, perfect game or not.
   84. SoSH U at work Posted: April 15, 2022 at 06:22 PM (#6071898)
As BTF posters tend to be so analytic-focused, I find it amusing that the arguments for Kershaw going for the perfect game are some variation on “I wanted to see a perfect game”, which is a totally fanboy reaction.

There is no analytical-based reason that Kershaw should have kept pitching, perfect game or not.


Do you watch the games to see which teams makes the most analytics-based moves? "Hey, Steve, did you see the way the Rays used their bullpen today? It was awesome."
   85. Howie Menckel Posted: April 15, 2022 at 06:47 PM (#6071900)
Tens of millions dollars per year for another 4 or 5 years.

none of which will mean five cents to Kershaw, his wife, his children, or his grandchildren - even pretending without a lot of evidence that the risk was truly significant.

it's extra money that great-granddaughter (or son) Paris Kershaw will exploit down the road to make their sex tape more lucrative - leading to even more money for the next generation.

look, I have noted a million times that I have dealt extensively with enough professional athletes for so many years that I am not at all surprised at Kershaw's approach. I get it - he who accumulates the most millions (never mind that at this point, the difference is just a rounding error) wins.

so many hyper-competitive people do not seem to be able to turn off the spigot - ever.

and we know that Kershaw clearly doesn't care about the perfect game.
but yes he disappointed a lot of fans - and yes that has some at least modest diminishing of interest in the sport.

entertainers and athletes are paid to entertain. they can ignore that angle as they wish.
in the long run - and here it is a long run - as seen as with some sentiments here that hardly are unique, it can backfire.

but not in the short run, admittedly.
   86. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 15, 2022 at 06:59 PM (#6071908)
If you prefer a 20K game to the perfect game, that's fine.

Depends. A 20K game by one pitcher? Awesome!!! A 20K game by 6 pitchers? WGAS?
   87. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 15, 2022 at 07:22 PM (#6071909)
I have no idea why Kershaw apparently sat on the couch all winter. he has hundreds of millions of dollars already - what's the risk, really
He was recovering from the arm injury that prevented him from pitching in the playoffs.
   88. Howie Menckel Posted: April 15, 2022 at 07:33 PM (#6071911)
sounds plausible, although I hadn't read that anywhere - in terms of having to take several months, not just weeks, off.

and if he had to take the entire winter off, I'm mildly surprised the Dodgers even offered 17M.

looks good so far, though.
;)
   89. Zach Posted: April 15, 2022 at 07:55 PM (#6071916)
As BTF posters tend to be so analytic-focused, I find it amusing that the arguments for Kershaw going for the perfect game are some variation on “I wanted to see a perfect game”, which is a totally fanboy reaction.

I think it is incredibly unhealthy for baseball if "but I wanted to see a perfect game!" is somehow seen as an unworthy emotion that a fan should keep quiet about.

By the time that shows up in the numbers, it's too late to fix.
   90. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:08 PM (#6071924)
Is the possible chance of an extra Kershaw start this season more entertaining than seeing him throw a perfect game? There's no way to quantify this stuff, so we'll never get an objective answer, but I feel like sports as entertainment need moments of pure, unadulterated greatness. If we give those up for chances at extended moments of goodness, it's my belief that the overall entertainment value is lower. Your mileage may vary.


Kershaw is on a one year contract. The risk/reward factor is far too imbalanced to take a chance. he's already a no-brainer HOFer, so he doesn't need the career highlight. If he throws the PG and otherwise remains healthy, he will get the same payday as if he remains healthy and does not get the pG. If he tries for the PG and later turns up lame, it will cost him millions, if not tens of millions. It is a very rational deciding. nothing to do about guts.
   91. Howie Menckel Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:42 PM (#6071928)
If he tries for the PG and later turns up lame, it will cost him millions, if not tens of millions. It is a very rational deciding. nothing to do about guts.

for 99.9 pct of humans.

but NOT for someone who already has $250 million.

it seems like that point gets being dodged.

many at BBTF gripe at these 6-year, $70M deals for pre-free agent players - and I push back hard, based on the fact that they get to be guaranteed for life rich (if not for hookers and blow). I see THAT as rational.

is there anyone out there who opposes the early deals for potentially leaving money on the table - but goes the other way on Kershaw?

every million past 1 million - and especially past 10 million and then 100 million - becomes increasingly absurd in real life terms.

interesting discussion, btw

   92. bunyon Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:45 PM (#6071929)
I think you're putting too much on how much he's already earned. You think he should have been working out on his own, risking his health to be ready for a season his bosses were locking him out of. That it was up to him to be ready no matter what.

If you want someone to blame, blame the owners who are, effectively, broadcasting three weeks of spring training and telling you it's real.
   93. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:50 PM (#6071930)
but NOT for someone who already has $250 million.


Who are you to decide what his career earnings should be?

What career earnings level must one achieve before you decide they must risk any more for your entertainment?
   94. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 15, 2022 at 09:55 PM (#6071932)
for 99.9 pct of humans. but NOT for someone who already has $250 million
The evidence for this is scant, if not nonexistent. People who can earn BIG BUCKS don’t normally stop doing so just because they have already earned $100M, $200M, or more. There isn’t any reason to think professional sports, or MLB, is different from other industries. Earning millions more is always going to be appealing to most, even if others might think they already have ‘enough’.
   95. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 15, 2022 at 10:13 PM (#6071939)

Who are you to decide what his career earnings should be?

What career earnings level must one achieve before you decide they must risk any more for your entertainment?


We can decide he takes no real risk by going for the perfecto. There is zero difference between having $50M and $250M. You have to be greedy AF to think differently.

I have less money than Kershaw by way more than an order of magnitude, and I take no risk by telling my bosses what they don't want to hear, and risking my career.
   96. Howie Menckel Posted: April 15, 2022 at 11:05 PM (#6071951)
the push back here is on the word "risk."

the financial risk to his family and to his next and next generation - absent the hookers and blow secenario - is effectively zero.

and again, contrary to the Tiger Woods risk which I criticized earlier - no one seems ready to believe that Kershaw's arm might have fallen off with another 20 pitches.

and of course
a) we can't decide for someone else how much money they believe that a future Paris [anyone] should start off with, just as much as
b) we can't seriously ask people to be prevented from having an opinion on strategy choices like this on a baseball site
   97. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 15, 2022 at 11:21 PM (#6071954)
Heck, forget about pitchers even. What about the game where Matt Carpenter had three home runs, was guaranteed to come up again, and got pulled, because the Cardinals had a double-header the next day? Were people this upset at losing the possibility of Carpenter hitting 4 HRs in a game? That's historical, and more rare than a perfect game.

For what it's worth, I don't recall being aware of this at the time, but I am retroactively annoyed by it now - even though Carpenter's odds of hitting a 4th HR (he homered in roughly 4% of PA during his prime years) were probably significantly lower than Kershaw's chances at finishing the perfect game.

I do think the psychological experience of a no-hitter or perfect game is different than some of the other single-game achievements. 20 strikeouts or 4 homers or the cycle is something that you can have a chance for, but it still requires active achievement until the end. A perfect game obviously requires the completion of 9 perfect innings, but it feels like something the pitcher has in hand, and the question is whether he "loses" it. Nobody talks about "losing" 20 K's or 4 HR in the same way. (A perfect game or no-hitter is also at risk at all times when the pitcher is on the mound, and heightens the tension to an extent that I don't think the other options match. YMMV and all that.)
   98. Baldrick Posted: April 16, 2022 at 04:59 AM (#6071963)
This obsession with how much money Kershaw has earned is...bizarre.
   99. bunyon Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:40 AM (#6071967)
I agree with 98. I don't think money should play into this and I've been distracted myself by it. Kershaw says he wants to win a ring and be on the field for it. He just lost a playoff season due to injury. He's fragile. His goal is to pitch all year and into October and win the Series. Overextending now does risk that. I mean, we'd all like to see peak Kershaw make 40 9 inning starts this year; why not demand that?

I generally agree with the argument that players and managers are too risk averse/data devoted. But it isn't some vague, "100 pitches is the limit" feeling with Kershaw. He's been injured a lot. He doesn't feel right ever. He probably, despite being careful, won't have a full season. The idea that that guy can just add 25 more pitches without risking the season seems really bizarre to me.

Pulling Carpenter with 3HR in six innings was appalling. Pulling Rich Hill with a perfecto was bad. If this was July and Kershaw felt good, pulling him would have been a mistake, I think. As it is, it was 38F, it's still spring training and everyone involved in the Dodger dugout thought it was a good idea to pull him. Just because your larger argument has merit doesn't make you right on every detail.
   100. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:11 AM (#6071968)
OK, maybe it is not fair, but there is a reason why Pedro Martinez has gone down in history as an all-time GOAT, and Kershaw - who has been amazing - will simply not be put in that conversation. Both had remarkable peaks, and both dealt with significant health issues, but c'mon: There is no chance Pedro is coming out of this game the other night.

I just checked that famous Gerald Williams Tampa Bay Rays game against Pedro on August 29, 2000. Ask anybody who follows this stuff at all who was around then, and they'll know exactly what game I'm talking about. Pedro plunked Ice Williams to lead off the game (there had been some tension earlier in the season), and then there was a nasty brawl. Two players got injured in it, Williams was ejected...but Pedro was not.

Talk about a flare for the dramatic. He responded by getting the next 24 guys out, then giving up a single, then getting the last three guys out. 13 Ks, no walks, 1 hit, and the HBP to lead off the game.

After seven innings, with the game firmly in hand, he had thrown 94 pitches. It would have been so easy to take him out. Instead, he finished up an iconic performance, one that Red Sox fans talk about 20+ years later. This is part of what makes baseball great, when it is firing on all cylinders. Unlike any other sport, you get these opportunities where you've got the gunslinger, standing alone on a mound in the middle of the diamond, able to singlehandedly tell the other team to take a f**king seat. And it is the sport that has by far the longest history in our country, so it also provides this thread of all-time greats who carry this along, generation to generation. Pedro successfully carried it on. Kershaw just...doesn't.

Because the sport has changed over the past 30 years, starting pitchers get fewer opportunities to make history like this, to create iconic moments like this. Nolan Ryan threw 230 pitches in a game, and then started again four days later, then pitched 19 more years after that. Bob Gibson started three games in a 7-game World Series in both 1967 and 1968, and completed all six starts. These things aren't happening like that anymore.

But once in a while, there is still a chance for a moment like that, and when there is, the pitcher involved, and his manager, need to recognize that they are staring at a unique moment, and seize it. We're not going to be talking about this game in 20 years...honestly, how many starting pitching performances from this era are we going to be talking about in 20 years? It is hurting the game, and accelerating the deterioration of the fan base, and its passion for the game.

When you are wearing the same jersey as Sandy Koufax, in the same stadium, a hall of fame lefty on the mound, and you have a perfect game through 7 innings and 80 pitches, you grab the special moment, and try to make history.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Martin Hemner
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAdley Rutschman, MLB's No. 1 prospect, called up to O's
(29 - 12:40pm, May 23)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogJOEY VOTTO IS THE GREATEST REDS PLAYER OF ALL TIME
(12 - 12:33pm, May 23)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

NewsblogZach Davies’ estranged wife says MLB pitcher ghosted her for a year
(59 - 12:29pm, May 23)
Last: .

Newsblog2022 NBA Playoffs thread
(1723 - 12:21pm, May 23)
Last: DCA

NewsblogFormer Giants fan-favorite infielder Joe Panik retires from MLB
(16 - 12:05pm, May 23)
Last: jingoist

Sox TherapyOne Step Forward
(19 - 11:57am, May 23)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogRoger Angell, Who Wrote About Baseball With Passion, Dies at 101
(53 - 11:34am, May 23)
Last: phredbird

NewsblogJuan Soto trade rumors: Nationals may be 'motivated' to trade outfielder
(58 - 11:06am, May 23)
Last: bfan

NewsblogYankees, White Sox benches clear after Josh Donaldson calls Tim Anderson 'Jackie' Robinson
(47 - 10:45am, May 23)
Last: Rally

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Crowning Champions and Pro-Rel
(160 - 10:42am, May 23)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogWEEKEND OMNICHATTER for May 20-22, 2022
(120 - 9:59am, May 23)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogSports teams love crypto. What happens when their sponsor strikes out?
(12 - 8:35am, May 23)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogSeattle Mariners sign Justin Upton
(14 - 12:33am, May 23)
Last: bookbook

NewsblogNew York Mets' Max Scherzer out 6-8 weeks with oblique strain
(16 - 12:25pm, May 21)
Last: nick swisher hygiene

NewsblogSports Venues Create Quiet Refuge for Fans with Sensory Needs
(2 - 7:23pm, May 20)
Last: AndrewJ

Page rendered in 0.7676 seconds
50 querie(s) executed