2012 is over.
|This guy is good...|
Clayton Kershaw just sliced diced and embarrassed the World Champions on opening day with not just pitching, but he broke the tie with a solo jack off of George Kontos too. Thanks to a 162 game season, I don't have to dwell on this loss very long. But in case you wanted to glean anything from this miserable start, please note that Clayton Kershaw is a very good pitcher.
Usually the gripe about the Giants is that hitting philosophy here in San Francisco is just swing hard in case you hit it. Besides Buster Posey, there isn't a whole lot of pitch selectivity going on here. But with Kershaw on the mound, it's tough to say the Giants should've been more selective. Of his 94 pitches, 65 were strikes and he walked zero batters. With how tiny the ump's strike zone was today I'm thinking that 80% of the balls were right on the corner or the edge today too.
The major problem players have with Kershaw is that even when he's in the strike zone he's unhittable. In just one at bat I saw him throw fastball, then 3 straight breaking balls all in the strike zone to finish off Brandon Crawford. He fouled off the fastball then swung and missed on two of the breaking balls. If you're thinking he should've held off, yes he could've, but they would've fallen in for strikes anyway.
The only way a hitter can possibly attack Kershaw is to swing early and hope that they get that fastball early in the count before Kershaw can get ahead of you early in an 0-2 hole. Which is exactly why less patient hitters like Pablo and Pagan went 2-4 today while the rest of the lineup put up a big fat goose egg. What you get when a lineup is trying to be aggressive early in the count and when Kershaw is dealing, is that he can get through a whole game under 100 pitches.
At this point the next time the Giants face Kershaw I'd like the strategy to simply be, don't ever swing unless you've got 2 strikes. Even if that increases his strikeout total, running up his pitch count would be the goal and then you have a shot against the much less intimidating Dodger bullpen.
In case his dominance was to be overshadowed by the zero put up over 7 innings by Giants pitchers, Kershaw blasted one off Kontos to break the tie, and eventually the floodgates opened up with Casilla and Affeldt unable to stop the bleeding.
First pitch tomorrow is at 7:10 PM
Laws of the Day
In a less than dominant start, Cain still pitched six innings and allowed no runs on 92 pitches.