Dodgers win 18 of Kershaw's 32 starts

Young Clayton Kershaw pitched well enough to allow the Dodgers to win 18 of his 32 starts although his run support was below the team average. L.A. won 17 games in starts made by Hiroki Kuroda and 15 when Billingsley pitched. Their run support made a good deal of difference in their records.

This essay is about team won-lost record per start, not the actual record the pitcher put in the official guide. The theory is, if a starter pitches well enough to keep the opponents close and the team wins, even if he does not get the victory, he is credited with a "win."

Obviously it is difficult to win without adequate run support and both Kuroda and Billingsley where shorted in that department.

Dodger starters received 5.29 runs in victories but only 2.68 runs in defeats.

It again again that a pitchers actual won-lost record is a disastrous way to determine the worth of a starter.

The amount of runs per start on the chart below shows which pitchers profited from the club's offense and which ones suffered from lack of support.

Vicente Padilla, for example, topped the staff in run support but the team could only record a 6-10 record. Rookie Carlos Monasterios, second on the list, had a 7-6 mark.

On the other side of the coin, Kershaw (3.97), Billingsley (3.58) and Kuroda (3.42) were below the team average of 4.12.

Run support is obviously not an exact science. It records the number of runs each pitcher receives per start but the runs each starter gets are the teams final total, not runs scored while the starter was in the game.

Then, too, the Dodgers bullpen blew 14 saves, with Billingsley losing three wins and Kershaw two.

Kershaw's record is also deceiving. He won 18 of his 32 starts despite Seven times he was given two runs or less. Billingsley worked with two or less eight times and was shut out in five of them. Kuroda was given two or less in nine his losses and was shutout six times.

On the following charts, it is obvious that the more runs a pitcher receives, the more chance the team has to record a win. They might fluctuate from season to season but, for the most part, the pitcher who gets an abundance of runs finishes the season with an abundance of team wins.

The won-lost record below pertains to the team record in each pitcher's start.

 2008 Run support chart

                  w-l  starts runs   RS    wins  losses
Padilla	         6-10   16    87   5.44   9.33   4.00
Monasterios	 7-6    13    65   5.00   5.71   4.17
Ortiz	         1-1     2     9   4.50   4.00   5.00
Kershaw 	18-14   32   127   3.97   4.83   2.85
Ely	         8-10   18    72   3.89   6.00   2.40
Billingsley 	15-16   31   111   3.58   4.80   2.44
Haeger	         1-5     6    21   3.50  10.00   2.20
Kuroda 	        17-14   31   134   3.42   6.24   2.00   
Lilly    	 7-5    12    39   3.25   3.50   2.80
McDonald	 0-1     1     2   2.00    n/a   2.00
---------------------------------------------------
2010 total	80-82  162   667   4.12   5.29   2.68

2009 total	95-67  162   780   4.81   6.47   2.46
2008 total	84-78  162   700   4.32   6.31   2.02    
2007 total	82-80  162   735   4.54   6.18   2.70
Dodgers slip from 5th to 12th
Los Angeles jumped from 13th in the league in 2008 to fourth in 2009, then slid back to 12th in 2010. Their 4.14 runs per game (nearly 70 lower than in 2009) topped only San Diego, New York, Houston and Pittsburgh.

Cincinnati topped the National League by scoring 5.87 runs per game and Philadelphia topped Colorado by a slim .02 points. New York tied for second last year 14th in the National League.

The entire league went down just over a 9/10th of a run per game from 4.43 to 4.35.
N.L. 2010 Run Support
gm runs ave Cincinnati 162 790 4.87 Philadelphia 162 772 4.77 Colorado 162 770 4.75 Milwaukee 162 760 4.68 Atlanta 162 738 4.56 St. Louis 162 736 4.54 Florida 162 719 4.44 Arizona 162 713 4.40 Washington 161 655 4.38 San Francisco 162 697 4.30 Chicago 161 685 4.23 Los Angeles 162 667 4.12 San Diego 162 665 4.10 New York 162 656 4.05 Houston 161 611 3.77 Pittsburgh 161 587 3.62 ---------------------------------- 2010 totals 1296 11211 4.35 2009 totals 1295 11481 4.43 2008 totals 1294 11741 4.54
Koufax is King
It is no surprise that Koufax holds the all-time won-lost record, pitching his club to an unbelievable 34-6 record during 1966, his final season. Drysdale posted a 31-10 mark in 1962, the first season in Dodger Stadium and Koufax's 31-10 in 1965 is third overall, giving him a 65-15 record over his final two seasons.

Tom Lovitt of the 1890 Brooklyn Dodgers was 32-12, the only Brooklyn player to crack the 30-win mark. Kirby Higbe (29-9, 1941) and Jeff Pfeffer (29-12, 1916) are second on the chart.
Los Angeles 21+ winning starts 
34- 6  Sandy Koufax, 1963
31-10  Don Drysdale, 1962
31-11  Sandy Koufax, 1965
28-13  Sandy Koufax, 1966
28-11  Andy Messersmith, 1974

26-14  Don Sutton, 1974
25- 9  Orel Hershiser, 1985
25- 9  Hideo Nomo, 2002
25-17  Don Drysdale, 1965
24- 9  Orel Hershiser, 1988
23-15  Claude Osteen, 1966
23-10  Brad Penny, 2007 

22-18	Don Drysdale, 1966
22-15	Jerry Reuss, 1982
22-13	Bob Welch, 1987
22-11	Ramon Martinez, 1990
22-13	Kevin Brown, 1999
22-12	Randy Wolf, 2009

21-13  Fernando Valenzuela, 1986
21-11  Kevin Brown, 2000

  Los Angeles Run Support
5.71  Kazahira Ishii 2004 (19-12)
5.66  Darren Dreifort 1999 (20-12)
5.62  Orel Hershiser 1991 (16-5)
5.59  Darren Dreifort 1999 (14-15)
5.42  Brad Penny 2005 (20-13)

5.38  Ramon Martinez 1994 (15-9)
5.38  Luke Prokopec 2001 (13-10)
5.33  Darren Dreifort 2000 (20-12)
5.33  Eric Gagné 2001 (11-13)
5.27  Chan Ho Park 1999 (17-16)

5.23  Ramon Martinez 1997 (15-7)
5.13  Claude Osteen, 1966 (23-15)
5.09  Kevin Gross, 1993 (14-18)
5.09  Chan Ho Park, 1999 (20-14)
5.06  Hideo Nomo, 1997 (18-15)
5.06  Sandy Koufax, 1966 (28-13)










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