We have reached the last two articles in this series and unlike the previous ten, there won’t be any voting for these upcoming two pitching positions.
Clayton Kershaw is the starting pitcher for the 2010s Dodger of the Decade team. This should be no surprise based on the honors he has received in the last ten seasons.
Kershaw won both the National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award in 2014. He also won the Cy Young Award in 2011 and 2013. He was an eight-time National League All-Star.
Kershaw was not only the best pitcher for the Dodgers, he really has only two other candidates for the best starting pitcher in Major League Baseball this past decade.
There were three starting pitchers that accumulated over 50 bWAR from 2010 - 2019. Clayton Kershaw led with 59.3 bWAR. Justin Verlander had 56.2 bWAR and Max Scherzer was right behind with 56.1 bWAR.
Top 2010s Starting Pitchers
Since 1960, there have been 15 pitchers to have more than 50 bWAR in a decade. Of the 15 pitchers on the below list, only Kershaw, Verlander and Scherzer are not eligible for the Hall of Fame. And just two of the eligible pitchers are not enshrined, Roger Clemens, who is still on the ballot and David Cone who did not surpass 5% on the only HOF ballot he appeared on.
You’ll notice Randy Johnson appearing twice on the below table, this is not a typo, he is the only pitcher in Major League history to have two different decades with 50+ bWAR.
Pitchers with 50+ bWAR in a decade
Clayton Kershaw became the all-time Dodger franchise leader in bWAR with his 59.3 in the 2010s. The four other pitchers with 50+ bWAR in a Dodger uniform are all inducted in the Hall of Fame as Dodgers.
Top Dodger Pitchers in franchise history
One of Clayton Kershaw’s top moments in the decade is pitching his no-hitter at Dodger Stadium in 2014.
In 2015, Kershaw would record 301 strikeouts to become the first Dodger to reach 300+ strikeouts since Sandy Koufax had 317 strikeouts in 1966.
Clayton Kershaw has two more years on his current contract. He’ll be 34 when the 2022 season begins. While he is certainly in his second half of his career, how Kershaw evolves this part will be the most fascinating thing to watch.
But no matter what happens next, there is no doubt that Kershaw’s place in Dodger history is secure, he was not only best pitcher for the Dodgers in the Decade, he was the face of the organization for the last ten years too.