Take a closer look at Clayton Kershaw's line (7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 8 SO, 1 BB) and you would probably conclude that the imperious left-hander was on terrific form but you wouldn't be surprised.
For those of us that walk this earth with a dangerous obsession with the left-handed ace however, the game did provide something interesting.
With his team cruising and the win all but secure, Clayton Kershaw trialled a new pitch, a changeup, twice.
He threatened to do so in Spring:
Kershaw said one of his goals this season is to actually throw his change-up in a game, "not just in the bullpen." Can you even imagine???— Ron Cervenka (@Think_BlueLA) February 15, 2017
This isn't the first time we've been over this story. In 2016, he threw two changeups, on opening day, when pitching with an 11-0 lead against the Padres. Sounds familiar right.
In 2014, Kershaw was working on a changeup in Spring Training and he accepts himself that “every off-season I say my changeup’s getting better.”
With three plus pitches, there has never really been a need for Kershaw to develop a changeup but he continues to try to do so, which is what makes yesterday's offerings interesting.
On to the pitches in question. The first came in the fifth inning, with two outs and the bases empty, against Padres catcher/outfielder/relief pitcher Christian Bethancourt.
Looks pretty good right? At 84mph it clocks in considerably slower than most of his sliders but considerably quicker than any of his curveballs.
Just using the eye test, we can see it is different. The pitch has fade and dip unlike any of his other pitches and fools Bethancourt. It is, dare we say, a terrific changeup.
Let's take a look at the grip.
Looks like a changeup grip. Hard to say what exactly Kershaw is doing with his fingers, but we can pretty safely rule out this being a slider that didn't break or a fastball that came out wrong.
So far, so good. Kershaw threw a changeup and it looked awesome! Changeup number two:
Hmm, not so good. I wasn't sure at first that this was a change-up and not a slider, even though it was categorised as one by Brooks Baseball.
But before throwing this pitch Kershaw shakes off several signs before finally landing on one after a time-out. And again, if we peek at his grip as he winds up that looks very different to his slider grip.
The result, however, is a bad changeup. Left up in the zone and with little break, this pitch has the effect of an 86mph fastball and Wil Myers gives it a ride to the warning track.
So what can we conclude? Kershaw is definitely trialling a changeup, it definitely has swing-and-miss potential but it is definitely far from the finished product.
In a 12-1 game, we can't read a whole lot into this beyond 'he is trying something different'. Which shouldn't come as a surprise.
Last year, Kershaw experimented with a new, low angle arm-slot, presumably inspired by team-mate Rich Hill, slinging fastballs up to 97mph from a whole new vantage point.
He liked that experiment so much that he broke it out in the play-offs to various degrees of success, although he did not go back to that trick pitch once on Monday:
Two changeups in one blow-out game doesn't seem like much, and I remain skeptical that Kershaw has the confidence in the pitch to use it in important situations.
What they do signal however, is that Kershaw is still not happy standing pat despite being the best pitcher in baseball. From low arm slots to newly-honed pitches, he is consistently trying to find ways to make himself better.
And if Monday's performance is any indicator, that should scare the crap out of Major League hitters.