Clayton Kershaw Notes Difference Between Competition & Support Within Dodgers Starting Rotation
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

A struggling bullpen aside, the Los Angeles Dodgers boast one of the deepest teams in all of baseball. From a star-studded starting rotation to a relentless lineup that routinely punishes opposing pitchers, it’s no surprise the club paces the National League with 48 wins this season.

One of the Dodgers’ greatest strengths in recent years has been their collection of accomplished starting pitchers, led by three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. The rest of the staff is rounded out by Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who have all performed better than Major League-average by many metrics this season.

Each of the aforementioned pitchers are competitive and strive for the same goals, whether it’s in the form of individual accolades or the ultimate prize of winning a World Series.

But rather than compete with each other to see who could post the better individual numbers by the end of the season, Kershaw explained the Dodgers’ starting rotation is supportive of one another for the greater goal of the team, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“I think so. I think it’s just kind of subconscious almost. People talk about starters on other teams compete with each other; we don’t compete with each other. That almost implies you want the other guy to do bad or something. We just love watching each other pitch, and I think it just starts rolling. One guy has a good start and you want to do the same thing. It just kind of gets on that effect and that momentum. It’s been a lot of fun, I’ve had a blast. This is one of the closer groups of starters that I’ve had. Even with the language barrier with Maeda and Ryu, they fit right in. They’ve been around now a few years, so it’s been a blast.”

As Kershaw points out, the Dodgers’ starting rotation gets along well with each other despite the different backgrounds and age groups. Their success and ability to bond is a testament to the positivity manager Dave Roberts has preached and implemented in the clubhouse.

To no surprise, Kershaw considers the 2019 Dodgers one of the best teams he’s ever played for and is thankful to be a part of it.

While Kershaw isn’t the same pitcher that he once was in terms of dominating stuff, he is still finding ways to garner successful results on the mound. In 11 starts this season, the left-hander is 6-1 with a 3.13 ERA, 3.62 FIP and 1.08 WHIP over 72 innings pitched.