(Source) “As good as you think he is, he’s better than that,” Josh Beckett said of Clayton Kershaw. “He could possibly be the best pitcher ever.” Beckett has had ample time to watch Kershaw from afar while recovering from surgery that treated his thoracic outlet syndrome on July 8 which required a removal of a rib. “They cut the rib out of my spine,” Beckett said. “That’s where all of my pain was, in my upper back.” Beckett reported that he is ahead of schedule and will be ready to start a throwing program this week and hoped to start his normal offseason program in December. “I’m planning for Spring Training 2014.” Although Beckett has missed a considerable chunk of the season, he doesn’t feel any regrets or that he’s missing out on anything. “I’m genuinely happy for everybody: the fans, the ownership who put this thing together. It’s an exciting time to be a Dodger fan, a Dodger player, a Dodger DL-guy, a Dodger owner.
Two points I want to make here. First, let me say I have a bias against Josh Beckett. I’m originally from the Boston area and the last two years he was on the Red Sox he couldn’t have been more of a stuck up asshole. Extremely lazy and a clubhouse cancer. As you can see by that picture, he was on the David Wells training program. So usually anything that he secretes out of his mouth is garbage and I hate it.
Now calling Kershaw possibly the best pitcher ever is obviously going way overboard. But if you want to throw him out there as the best pitcher in baseball today, I won’t argue. Since his rookie season he hasn’t had an ERA over 3. This season he’s got an absurd 1.72. That’s the stuff of legends. Opponents are hitting .182 against him, and he’s only given up a total of 38 runs. Both of those are MLB lows.
But you wanna know what I think is his best quality? He eats innings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No pitchers do that anymore. If your starter makes it into the sixth inning nowadays then you got your moneys worth. Kershaw throws 7 on the regular and a complete game is always in the cards. He’s tied with Adam Wainwright for most innings pitched this year with 198. It’s an undervalued quality in a pitcher. Most middle relievers are so sketchy with their performances that having a horse on the mound for a starter means a lot to a team. Kershaw is looking a lot like Roy Halladay did three years ago. Big time ace who performs his best in big time games.
Playoffs? Can’t wait.