26 June 2012

the evolution of the ace, part the fourth

not too far to go now, here's jeff weaver (2004-2005)
weaver was acquired from the yankees in the kevin brown deal.  he was one of three dodger pitchers (kaz ishii and jose lima were the others) to win 13 games in 2004, but it was weaver who led the rotation in starts, innings pitched, and strikeouts.  in 2005, weaver again led the team in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts on what was a very disappointing team.  it was the year of jim tracy's parade of ja(y)sons (phillips, grabowski, werth, and repko).  'nuff said.

derek lowe (2006)
derek lowe was 16-8 in 2006, tying brad penny for the team lead in wins.  however, lowe's era was 3.63 compared to penny's 4.33, and lowe also pitched more innings and had a better whip.  he also threw the lone complete game of the season for the dodgers, a 4-2 win over the mariners, lowe's original team.

brad penny (2007)
penny was 16-4 with a 3.03 era in 33 starts in 2007.  he started the all-star game for the national league, and finished third in the cy young voting.

chad billingsley (2008)
bills put up good numbers in 20 starts and 43 overall appearances in 2007 (12-5, 3.31 era) and then went 16-10 in 32 starts with a 3.12 era in 2008.  he threw his first career shutout that year, and struck out 201 batters.  he also won game 2 of the nlds against the cubs before struggling in game 2 of the nlcs against the eventual world champion phillies.

clayton kershaw (2009-present)
(thanks for the sticker, night owl). even though kershaw was just 8-8 in 2009, i'll still anoint him as the ace thanks to his 2.79 era.  he made 30 starts for the dodgers, and led the staff in strikeouts despite pitching fewer innings than randy wolf or billingsley.  2010 saw kershaw go 13-10 with a 2.91 era and 212 k's over 204.1 innings pitched in 32 starts.  of course, his 2011 numbers were even better, as he captured the pitching triple crown with 21 wins, a 2.28 era, and 248 strikeouts.  his 0.98 whip also led the league.

so, there you have it, in four installments.  from newcombe to kershaw - the evolution of the dodgers' ace.

up next (and by next i mean someday), the infield...

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