MLB 2011 Season in Review: Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum 4-Part Battle
Despite not being playoff teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants played four of the best games of the 2011 season.
The Dodgers had many problems throughout the year, headlined by the divorce of owners Frank and Jaime McCourt. But there were four very bright spots during the season for the Boys of Summer.
Four times in the past year, lefty Clayton Kershaw faced off against Tim Lincecum.
They are two of the best pitchers in the game. Lincecum already has won the Cy Young award twice at the age of 27. Kershaw is only 23 and is the favorite to win this year’s Cy Young.
Their four battles this year lived up to their pedigrees.
Both pitchers threw spectacularly in their four starts. Lincecum posted a 1.24 ERA and Kershaw had an amazing 0.30 ERA.
In four picture-perfect pitcher’s duels, the final scores were 2-1, 1-0, 2-1 and 2-1. Kershaw and the Dodgers won each of those games—bolstering Kershaw’s record and helping his cause for the 2011 Cy Young.
Two of the biggest matchups between them came on March 31st and Sept. 20th—their first and last games against each other in 2011.
Both were memorable wins for the Dodgers.
The first, on Opening Day, gave the Dodgers a sense of hope for the new year by taking down their hated rival, the reigning champions. The season didn’t turn out the way that they wanted it, but it was an exciting start.
Kershaw’s last win against the Giants’ lefty was a big personal victory for the young Dodger. It was his 20th victory of the year—seven more than his previous career high. The win kept him on pace to be the leader in wins in the National League and he finished the year on top with 21 wins.
The four wins didn’t end up mattering a whole lot in the grand scheme of things for the Dodgers. But on those two afternoons and two nights, fans were treated to some of the best baseball around.
A good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel.
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