There are a number of answers you can give to the question "who is the second best pitcher in baseball?" The list includes Jake Arrieta, Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez, and Madison Bumgarner, among others. However, there is only one answer to who the best is. On Saturday afternoon Clayton Kershaw reminded us why it's him by shutting down one of baseball's most dangerous lineups on the road. Kershaw limited the Blue Jays to two runs in seven innings while striking out 10 en route to his fourth win.
So far this season Kershaw has gone at least seven innings in each of his seven starts. Overall he is 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA and a league leading 64 strikeouts in just 53 innings pitched. With just three walks allowed Kershaw leads the league in K/BB at an insane 21.33. The next highest is 9.67:
What makes Kershaw the best pitcher in baseball is not just what he has done this year. It's the extended run of dominance he is in the middle of. From 2011-2015 he never finished below third in the Cy Young voting and won three times. During the same time span he has won the 2014 MVP award, four ERA titles, three strikeout titles, four WHIP titles, and led the league in wins twice.
Kershaw's dominance continuing into 2016 shows there are no signs of him slowing down. He is in the middle of the most impressive run of pitching the league has seen since Pedro in the late 90's. Every now and then analysts will make the claim that someone else has surpassed Kershaw. Yet here he is in May 2016, the early favorite to capture his fourth Cy Young in the past six seasons.