Five starts. Four of the quality variety. A 2.91 ERA over 34 innings. A 0-2 record. Something sounds a little off, no?
Unless you happen to be a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation, that is. Just ask Clayton Kershaw, who is not only a member, but the defacto ace of this disappointing team, one of the lone constants of excellence amidst a mess of skill maddeningly not matching up with results.
Not that wins and losses are truly useful indicators of skill, of course, but I can’t imagine that provides any solace for Kershaw, who is still looking for his sixth win despite doing his usual thing — you know, being an all-world pitcher carrying a ludicrous 1.84 ERA after yet another brilliant outing on Saturday.
That out extended his five-start winless streak, by the way.
Even when Kershaw is arguably primary reason why the Dodgers were able to win, the team continues to find ways to take his name out of the win-loss column these days.
This time, is was new closer Kenley Jansen blowing a one-run save opportunity (and somewhat ironically setting up Brandon League‘s save later), ruining what had been a seven-inning, one-run day for the lefty in which he allowed just three hits, three walks, while striking out eight.
Sure, the Dodgers did claw back in extra innings to salvage things with a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, but it’s probably a bittersweet one for the leader of the team’s staff.
That said, even though Kershaw’s Cy Young pace has continued to roll through this rough patch as far as the most old school of old-school numbers go, it isn’t as though he’s been truly flawless either.
It’s going to sound like a pretty hollow complaint when the guy has a 1.80 ERA over three starts in June thus far, and still hasn’t posted one above 2.00 in any month of the season … but as you could tell from his .216 BAA, the southpaw hasn’t been quite as unhittable as he’s been in the previous two months (.181 in April and .189 in May).
That in itself isn’t much of an issue, of course, but combined with the fact that he’s allowed three walks in three of his last five starts, enough to push his walk rate to an uncharacteristically-high 3.44 BB/9 during that stretch?
Well, it looks like the Dodgers aren’t the only ones with a little bit of work to do, after all.