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Entries in Clayton Kershaw (14)


Jay Bruce and Lefty Versus Lefty Homers

Sunday, as the Reds completed their sweep of the Dodgers, Jay Bruce hit a pair of homers.

So what, you ask?

I mean Bruce has had 14 multi-homer games in his career. Well to start with, the two homers were off Clayton Kershaw. Since 2008, Kershaw has only had 12 multi-homer games. I'm not talking about games in which a batter has hit two homers off of him, I mean the whole damn team.

  • On July 21, 2013 - Kershaw allowed two homers, both to Jayson Werth.
  • On May 2, 2012 - Kershaw allowed three homers, two to Carlos Gonzalez.
  • On August 6, 2010 - Kershaw allowed two homers, both to Adam Dunn.

And that's the end of that list. Kershaw has allowed 73 homers in his career and only 20 have been to 13 different lefties.

So Jay Bruce is in pretty select company, just against Kershaw only.

But let's expand Bruce's ability to go deep against lefties.

2013 Leading lefty HR hitters vs. lefties

2013 - Leading lefties vs. lefties HR hitters
Chris Davis (BAL)89208189131166--
Kyle Seager (SEA)97234218101447--
Jay Bruce (CIN)88204188101152--
Joey Votto (CIN)8922118593352--
Prince Fielder (DET)9322620082038--
Robinson Cano (NYY)10423420972041--
Anthony Rizzo (CHC)9519316772241--
Alex Gordon (KC)8920518671239--

2012 Leading lefty HR hitters vs. lefties

2012 - Lefties vs Lefty Homers
Adam Dunn (CWS)104215183152986
Curtis Granderson (NYY)106247216142679
Josh Reddick (OAK)105239224121156
Jay Bruce (CIN)89194169111856
Adam LaRoche (WSH)94188168111551
Josh Hamilton (TEX)85192175101154
Michael Saunders (SEA)9219218081244
Ike Davis (NYM)9017816781150
Kyle Seager (SEA)10223321571244
Jason Kubel (ARI)9220318471560
Jason Heyward (ATL)11825723771971
Freddie Freeman (ATL)11425722872267
Chris Davis (BAL)711181137433

Lefty vs Lefty Home Runs 2010-13

Bruce has hit more home runs off left-handed pitchers (44) than any other left-handed batter since the 2010 season.
2010-13 Lefty vs Lefties Homers
Jay Bruce (CIN)3657736914465211.249.316.486.8026.4%27.3%
Curtis Granderson (NYY)3166856003563192.240.321.470.7915.8%28.0%
Carlos Gonzalez (COL)3297707143546178.293.336.497.8344.9%23.1%
Robinson Cano (NYY)4239658703468150.279.339.446.7853.9%15.5%
Josh Hamilton (LAA)3246936403336178.252.292.461.7535.2%25.7%
Adam Dunn (CWS)3206545573084232.174.291.370.6605.4%35.5%
Joey Votto (CIN)35379967528113173.289.398.495.8934.1%21.7%
Prince Fielder (DET)4068997872688175.272.356.422.7783.3%19.5%
Carlos Pena (HOU)2835804812579197.173.302.358.6595.2%34.0%
Ryan Howard (PHI)2975945422437200.221.283.400.6834.4%33.7%
David Ortiz (BOS)3467316562468144.279.346.462.8083.7%19.7%
Brian McCann (ATL)3105875402436118.252.305.426.7314.4%20.1%

I'm a fan of guys with two first names

I admit I'm a Jay Bruce fan, but I think he has those dangerous lefty vs. lefty to garner your support as well.

Clayton Kershaw after a Dodgers loss

The estimable Jon Paul Morosi is a National MLB Writer for and when he talks, I listen (you should too).

Recently, on MLB Network, JP was involved in a discussion about Clayton Kershaw's consideration as an MVP candidate.

One of the negatives that Morosi brought up was that the Dodgers are only 7-5 in Kershaw's starts following an L.A. loss. He was mentioning that Justin Verlander's numbers were much better when he was the AL CYA and MVP winner in 2011 which justified his dual selection.

I don't think the Dodgers can complain about Kershaw's performance after a loss.

Kershaw's Numbers After a Dodgers Loss

Kershaw is 5-2
Clayton Kershaw 7 5 2 53.0 10 35 8 51 1.70 0.811 .185 .221 .302

Kershaw vs. Wainwright: Battle of Wicked Curves

Expect to see lots of jelly-legged hitters when Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright take the mound tonight in St. Louis. Kershaw's curveball has been dubbed "Public Enemy Number One" by Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, who knows a thing or two about breakers after watching Sandy Koufax flummox hitters for years. Wainwright's breaker, meanwhile still makes 2006 NLCS Game Seven victim and current teammate Carlos Beltran break out in a cold sweat.

Wainwright has struck out the second-most hitters with his curve (77) among MLB starters, while Kershaw (53) places fourth. To honor all those victims of Uncle Charlie, here are three reasons why both Kershaw and Wainwright's breaking balls are so nasty.


  • The Dodgers lefty gets a whiff about 38% of the time that hitters swing at his curveball, crushing the 28% MLB average and trailing only A.J. Burnett (42%), Madison Bumgarner (42%), Stephen Strasburg (39%), Jordan Zimmermann (39%) and Mike Minor (39%) among National League starters throwing the pitch at least 250 times.
  • When hitters do manage to make contact, they're chopping Kershaw's curve into the grass. His ground ball rate with the pitch (56%) is comfortably above the 51% big league average, which helps explain how Kershaw has yet to be taken deep on a curveball this season.
  • Kershaw rarely leaves his curve on a tee for hitters, throwing just 19% of them to the horizontal middle of the strike zone. The MLB average for starters, by contrast, is 26%.

Pitch location of Kershaw's curveball


  • While Wainwright gets a fair number of swings and misses with his curve (33% miss rate), he excels at getting hitters to expand their strike against the pitch. Wainwright has baited batters into chasing his curveball off the plate 38% of the time, tying him with Jose Fernandez for third-highest among starters. Minor (42%) and Burnett (39%) rank first and second, respectively.  

Hitters' swing rate by pitch location vs. Wainwright's curveball

MLB average swing rate by pitch location vs. curveballs

  • Wainwright buries his curve at hitters' knees, tossing the pitch to the lower third of the strike zone 63% of the time (the MLB average is about 56%). By keeping his curve down, Wainwright has also generated plenty of grounders (53%) and kept the ball in the park (two homers allowed on curveballs in 2013).
  • Part of the reason why Wainwright stays low with his curveball is that the pitch falls off the table like few others in the game. Wainwright's curve drops an average of 9.5 inches compared to a pitch thrown without spin, about four inches more than the big league average and more than all starters save for Barry Zito and Chris Tillman.