When they were still in high school, Dodgers pitchers Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw played for the 18-and-under national team. It was quite a roster — former Dodgers pitcher Shawn Tolleson was on it, too.
So when the Dodgers signed Anderson in December to a one-year contract, it reunited two pitchers who grew up about five hours apart (Anderson in Stillwater, Oklahoma; Kershaw in Dallas).
Wednesday, speaking on a conference call with reporters, Anderson flashed back to the summer of 2005.
“It was kind of right before he became Clayton Kershaw,” Anderson said. “He had some hype. That summer between his junior and senior year, he had a tremendous arm. He flipped that switch. Next thing you know, he’s the Clayton Kershaw we all know now.
“I think he was the third or fourth starter on our 18-under team. Next thing you know, he’s the biggest left-handed prospect in the country. Now he’s arguably the best pitcher in the last decade or so.”
Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda tends to speak his mind with a microphone in his face.
Tommy Lasorda doesn’t have an MVP vote. If he did, the former Dodgers manager — and former pitcher — wouldn’t vote for Clayton Kershaw
Considering his effervescent love for all things Dodgers, it was a surprising sentiment from the 87-year-old Hall of Famer.
The question arose Monday when Todd Hollandsworth — who won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1996, when he played for Lasorda — was interviewing Lasorda for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.
“We know how obviously talented [Kershaw] is but there’s a debate that still exists,” Hollandsworth said. “Do you think a pitcher like Clayton Kershaw, of his ability, should win the MVP Award? Should he be considered for the MVP or just the Cy Young?”
“No, I don’t think so,” Lasorda replied. “I don’t think pitchers should win the MVP Award. I think pitchers should win the pitching award, the Cy Young Award, but not the MVP because he only goes out there every four or five games. The other guys go out there every day and that makes a big difference in that award. I think it should be set that pitchers should not get the Most Valuable Player.”
The MVP award winners from both leagues will be announced Thursday.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Zack Greinke won Gold Glove Awards at their positions Tuesday.
Greinke, 31, had never won a Gold Glove award before in his career. Greinke made one error in 59 chances this season, a .983 fielding percentage.
Gonzalez had won the award three times before in his career, twice with the San Diego Padres and once with the Boston Red Sox. No Dodgers first baseman had won a Gold Glove award since Steve Garvey in 1977.
Gonzalez gets an additional $100,000 from the Dodgers for winning the award, part of a bonus clause that was written into his 2012 contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Juan Uribe was a finalist for a Gold Glove award at third base. He fell short in the balloting to defending winner Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was a finalist to win the award along with Greinke.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is a finalist for the National League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards.
Tuesday’s announcement of the top three vote-getters in each BBWAA award category came as little surprise. Kershaw had a career year for the Dodgers, going 21-3 with a 1.77 earned-run average — both major-league highs. Despite missing the month of April with a back injury, Kershaw also led the majors in complete games (6), ERA+ (197), WHIP (1.857) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.8) among other categories.
The Reds’ Johnny Cueto and the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright are the other finalists for the NL Cy Young Award. The winner will be announced Nov. 12.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, the defending winner, are also MVP finalists. The winner will be announced Nov. 13.
Kershaw was the only Dodgers player among the top three vote-getters in any category. No National League pitcher has finished among the top three vote-getters in MVP balloting since Greg Maddux in 1995; no NL pitcher has won an MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968.
I couldn’t resist. That made for a funny headline. It’s also true.
FanGraphs.com has an explanation of its first-ever Player of the Year award and how its judges voted here.
As for the bigger awards Kershaw is eligible to win this month: The National League Cy Young Award will be announced Nov. 12 and the MVP award will be announced Nov. 13.
Clayton Kershaw is a finalist for a National League Gold Glove Award, which he won for the only time in 2011. (Associated Press photo)
Dodger pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and third baseman Juan Uribe are finalists for National League Gold Glove awards.
The quartet was announced Thursday by Rawlings, the equipment maker which sponsors the award. Winners will be revealed on ESPN2 Nov. 4. The winners have already been chosen; the three finalists at each position are really the top three vote-getters.
We’ll have a bit more on each player’s credentials in a bit. Here’s the full list of NL Gold Glove Award finalists:
Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter and 41 consecutive scoreless innings in 2014. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw
is Baseball America’s Major League Player of the Year for 2014.
The honor doesn’t come with a physical award, but it does come with a snazzy magazine cover article. Here’s a snippet:
Kershaw has positioned himself to do what might be regarded as borderline heretical: surpass Sandy Koufax as greatest pitcher in Dodgers history.
Koufax was 26 when he embarked on five magnificent seasons. He led the NL in ERA each season from 1962-66, winning three Cy Young trophies and one MVP award. He retired at age 30, because of an arthritic elbow.
Kershaw is 26 now, poised to win his third Cy Young Award, and the MVP too.
ST. LOUIS >> The Cardinals are going for the kill at 2 p.m. Tuesday, while the Dodgers will look to extend their season another two days, in Game 4 of the NLDS at Busch Stadium.
Yasiel Puig gets his first day off of the series, while Andre Ethier will start in center field for the Dodgers and bat sixth.
Here are the lineups for both teams:
Dee Gordon 2B
Carl Crawford LF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Matt Kemp RF
Hanley Ramirez SS
Andre Ethier CF
Juan Uribe 3B
A.J. Ellis C
Clayton Kershaw P
Matt Carpenter 3B
Randal Grichuk RF
Matt Holliday LF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Matt Adams 1B
Yadier Molina C
Jon Jay CF
Kolten Wong 2B
Shelby Miller RHP
FanGraphs.com has a neat interactive strike-zone map that shows how every pitch in the postseason has been called so far.
The data is culled from the fantastic website BaseballSavant.com.
Looks like the Dodgers, specifically Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, have had a couple bad ball/strike calls go against them so far, but only a couple.
Clayton Kershaw went 21-3 with a 1.77 earned-run average for the Dodgers in 2014. (Getty Images)
After the Dodgers evened the National League Division Series by beating the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 on Saturday night, Clayton Kershaw was a possibility to start Game 4 Tuesday on short rest.
Adam Wainwright did not.