Former Major League Baseball home run king Mark McGwire served as the Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach under manager Don Mattingly from 2013-15.
During that span McGwire had the opportunity to see Clayton Kershaw pitch every fifth day and prepare between starts. Kershaw’s work ethic is largely the stuff of legends. And perhaps it made McGwire wonder.
Wonder about what it would be like to face Kershaw, who won two National League Cy Young Awards and an MVP in McGwire’s three years in Los Angeles.
What’s more, Kershaw as he had an ERA below 2.15 in each of those three seasons. During a recent interview on The Dan Patrick Show, McGwire was asked what current pitcher he would like to face, and of course, he said Kershaw:
McGwire hit 583 home runs in 16 Major League seasons, including 70 in the 1998 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit left-handers well, batting .266/.411/.608 in his career against lefties, compared to .262/.388/.581 against right-handers.
While it would be a tall task, McGwire is not the only one who would like to face Kershaw. At the beginning of the 2016 season, an unnamed NL player said facing Kershaw is a comfortable at-bat.
Despite missing some time with a back injury, Kershaw had another Cy Young-caliber year in 2016, going 12-4 with a 1.69 ERA, 1.80 FIP and 0.73 WHIP while striking out 172 and walking just 11.
Considering McGwire was one of the game’s top power hitters, a matchup against Kershaw, with both in their prime, would certainly be a sight to be seen.