Debate rages as Dodgers pull Clayton Kershaw with perfect game in sights
What, my fellow baseball fan, is wrong with Major League Baseball?
Where is the fun? Where is America’s past-time going?
Well, if you thought the above when the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday pulled starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw seven frames into a potentially perfect game when he’d thrown only 80 pitches, you were not alone.
Baseball fans were very upset at manager Dave Roberts for making the decision to pull Kershaw when he looked on his way to submitting baseball’s 24th perfect game in history.
If it's a no-hitter, whatever. Yank him. Clayton Kershaw has thrown one.
But there have been more than 220,000 games in MLB history. There have been 23 perfect games.
Everything — especially a pitch count of 80 — is lining up to at least let Kershaw try. You cannot pull him.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 13, 2022
Dave Roberts: “We’re taking you out”
Kershaw: “What? I have a perfect game and have only thrown 80 pitches?”
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) April 13, 2022
Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw has just thrown 7 perfect innings and is being taken out of the game. Wow.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 13, 2022
We have to get fans back. We have to entertain our fans. We have to keep fans first in our minds. OK, then definitely let’s pull Clayton Kershaw from a perfect game through 7 innings and 80 pitches. #Ridiculous
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) April 13, 2022
Clayton Kershaw getting pulled from this perfect game after just 80 pitches is everything that’s wrong with new school baseball. Real great way to draw new fans in. Dave Roberts should be ashamed
— Tommy Smokes (@TomScibelli) April 13, 2022
The context beyond Kershaw’s age (34 years old) and injury history of late is this: Wednesday’s game was his first start this year coming out of a shortened spring caused by the MLB work stoppage.
That hasn’t allowed pitchers to ramp up and stretch out.
It makes sense Roberts wanted to save the arm of a 34-year-old who hasn’t started more than 28 games since 2015. But Roberts has also gone down that road quite a few times in his Dodgers tenure.
Still, the context backed up his assessment. Other managers have been quite careful about blowing out their starting pitchers’s arms so far this young season.
Kershaw, after all, threw only 57 pitches in his spring finale, making the leap to 80 tosses an unsurprising logical next step in terms of ramping up for the long haul of the season.
Yep, Kershaw was pulled after "only" 80 pitches. But no pitcher has thrown more than 96 pitches in a game yet this year. Only SIX games with at least 90 pitches.
Every single manager is being careful with the short spring caused by the lockout. pic.twitter.com/2DOx1Xjrme
— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) April 13, 2022
There was barely a spring training. Nobody's fully built up. Starters were barely ready to start a real season. This isn't some new-age thing or whatever strawman you want to rail against. It sucks.
— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) April 13, 2022
Even Kershaw did not even appear to be upset about leaving the game after 80 pitches.
Clayton Kershaw to @kirsten_watson on @SportsNetLA “Those are individual things. Those are selfish goals. We’re trying to win, that’s really all we’re here fot. As much as I would have wanted to do it, I’ve thrown 75 pitches in a sim game. I hadn’t gone 6 innings, let alone 7."
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) April 13, 2022
Clayton Kershaw on getting pulled after seven perfect innings: “It was the right decision…it was time.”
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) April 13, 2022
You never see Clayton Kershaw cracking smiles in the dugout on his start days. Given the circumstances around what's going on, he really is in IDGAF mode 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Xc9ojnARFh
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) April 13, 2022
No matter where you stand on the matter, it’s not the fault of any “analytics” or “new wave” thought.
Everything will be OK.
Wild, I watched Kershaw get pulled and I still adore baseball and don’t think the sky is falling. Apparently that is a rare take.
— Srechter (@Srechter7) April 13, 2022