Clayton Kershaw usually has to carry the Los Angeles Dodgers on his back.
For once, the Dodgers came through with some real run support for Kershaw, but last night he only needed one run to pick up the win. The ace threw another gem, allowing only four hits in a complete-game shutout of the division rival Colorado Rockies.
The 6-foot-3 lefty from Dallas really knows how to control a game, never allowing more than one runner to reach base safely in any inning. On top of that, Kershaw fanned eight batters while not allowing any walks. With that kind of dominant display, the shutout is not surprising at all. Keep in mind that Kershaw pulled this stunt off in hitter-friendly Coors Field, where the Rockies have scored 5.08 runs per game this season.
The NL West is not a landfill for washed-up starting pitchers. The San Francisco Giants’ big lefty Madison Bumgarner is having another solid year with a 3.08 ERA and a WHIP of 1.00. Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies has been a pleasant surprise with a record of 8-4 and a 3.09 ERA. Kershaw’s own teammate Hyun-Jin Ryu has put up an impressive 2.83 ERA and a 6-3 record in his first season in MLB.
Nevertheless, none of these star pitchers can top Kershaw’s fantastic first-half performance.
Kershaw lowered his ERA to 1.93, making him the MLB leader. This win brings his season total to seven, a low number as a result of the aforementioned lack of run support. Nonetheless, he should be on anyone’s list of the top five early leaders for the NL Cy Young Award.