Clayton Kershaw is one of a short list of the very best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. His career accomplishments to this point place him among some of the best pitchers in history. Coming off a season in which he went 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA and then inked a seven year, $215 million extension, Kershaw started 2014 in the fine form we have come to expect.
Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Opening Series in Australia, Kershaw delivered 6 2/3 innings. It took him 102 pitches, with manager Don Mattingly pulling him promptly upon reaching the magic 100 pitch mark. Kershaw resisted and tried to convince his manager to let him finish the half inning, to no avail.
Kershaw gave up one run on five hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. He pounded the strike zone, with 73 of those 102 pitches being strikes. In usual Kershaw fashion, he kept the Diamondbacks’ hitters off balance all night with some nasty sliders and curveballs.
So much is unknown at the beginning of a new baseball season, but if this start is any indication it looks like Kershaw is going to be as dominant as expected once again in 2014.
See more coverage of the Australia Opening Series on FanSided.