The Best Pitching Money Can Buy

The best team money can buy ended May floundering in second place in the National League’s West Division, three games over .500 and six and one-half games behind the Giants. But their expensive pitching staff comprised of a starting staff of two home-grown stars and three former high priced free agents each with a history of being the ace somewhere else, along with a disappointing bullpen, suddenly as the calendar turned to June, became almost totally unhittable.

In June, the Dodgers turned in an 18-10 record, while the Giants were going 10-16, and now as July has begun, the Dodgers are in first place, holding a one-half game lead. For the month, the Dodgers’ pitching staff compiled a 2.53 ERA, tying Seattle for the best

in baseball, and also was a tick behind with the second-best WHIP at 1.05. Holding opposing batters to a .223 average, the staff walked the fewest batters of any team for the month, and had the third best strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio.

Leading the way for LA was Clayton Kershaw, who put up mind-boggling numbers for the month, erasing all doubts about his health and whether or not his 2013 playoff
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experience would have any lasting effects. In six June starts, Kershaw went 6-0, pitching 44 innings while allowing four earned runs, for an ERA of 0.82. He struck out 61 over those 44 innings, while walking four, for an 11-to-1 strike out to walk ratio. He enters July with a 28 inning scoreless streak.


Another key contributor to the June record was set-up guy Brian Wilson, who had been a major disappointment ever since the ill-fated trip to Australia that began the season, and Wilson's subsequent stint on the disable list. Wilson entered June with a 6.75 ERA and having walked 16 batters in only 18-2/3 innings. But, in 12 June appearances, Wilson took hold of the set-up
role, gave up only a single run for an ERA of 0.87 for the month, and walked only three in 10-1/3 innings.

The pitching was not the only story, with the resurgence of Matt Kemp, the return of A.J. Ellis, and many other strong contributions at the plate, and much improved defense. But, the key to the team’s resurgence has been first and foremost, the best pitching money can buy.

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