Clayton Kershaw criticizes MLB for efforts to change baseball: ‘Fans want to see some hits’
The 2021 MLB season has seen pitchers dominate batters in historic fashion, but not all hurlers are excited about the change.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw told reporters after Wednesday’s start that while “no-hitters are cool,” he believes that the frequency of them in 2021 is “probably not good for the game,” according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
“Fans want to see some hits, I get that, and some action, and not too many guys striking out,” Kershaw said in the report.
There have been six no-hitters already, the latest coming on Wednesday when the Yankees’ Corey Kluber no-hit the Rangers. The MLB record for the most in a single season is seven.
Kershaw believes part of the reason for the increased rate of no-hitters in 2021 is MLB’s tinkering with the baseballs before the season. It was reported that MLB changed how the baseball was manufactored after a surge in home runs over the past two seasons.
“I appreciate the attempts MLB has made [to deaden the baseball], but it seems like they’ve missed the mark so far,” Kershaw said in the Times’ report. “Whatever the intention was with the new ball, it really hasn’t done anything. There might be fewer home runs, which I guess is what they want, but April was one of the worst hitting months in the history of the game.”
Batters this season are hitting a collective .236, which is the lowest average in the history of the sport. In only three other seasons has the collective batting average been below .240 — 1968 (.237), 1888 (.239) and 1908 (.239).
Kershaw is the author of one no-hitter, coming on June 18, 2014, against the Rockies. While his 2021 ERA of 3.18 would be the highest since his rookie season in 2008, he is also striking out batters at a 10.32 K/9 rate, his highest since 2017.
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