With Clayton Kershaw taking the mound and the Los Angeles Dodgers facing Chicago Cubs, the National League’ Central’s last-place team, the result of the game was all but written in pen prior to first pitch.
After all, Kershaw had won his last six decisions and gone at least eight innings and collected a minimum of eight strikeouts in each of the starts. However, Kershaw’s return to Wrigley Field for the first time since 2010 was nothing like what’s now expected from the Dodgers’ ace.
Kershaw was given a six-run lead before stepping foot on the mound and gave back half of it by the time he ended the first inning; he threw 106 pitches and managed to pitch just five innings.
Nonetheless, Kershaw found his control enough times to get nine strikeouts and earned an MLB-best 20th win. The three earned runs tie the second-most Kershaw has allowed after giving up seven to the Arizona Diamondbacks May 17.
Along with leading the Majors in wins, Kershaw is also the ERA leader despite seeing it jump 0.10 points to 1.80. Kershaw last surpassed 20 wins in 2011 when he finished with a 21-5 record.