Following Wednesday night’s game between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers the baseball world was raving about one person: Clayton Kershaw
The reigning National League MVP and Cy Young award winner pitched a dominant game that put a stamp on a pivotal three-game sweep over their division rival. The Dodgers now hold a 6.5 game lead in the National League West with just 26 games left to play.
Kershaw pitched a complete game, throwing 132 pitches and striking out 15 batters – both tying career-highs:
He was able to strikeout every Giants starter at least once, with four of those players striking out multiple times. Kershaw induced 35 swings and misses, the most by any pitcher this year.
With two outs in the ninth, Kershaw allowed back-to-back hits to put the tying run in scoring postion. Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly came out to talk to his pitcher, who was at 127 pitches. After talking to his ace, Mattingly left Kershaw in the game and he went on to strikeout Marlon Byrd to end the game.
The left-hander now has 251 strikeouts for the season, a new career-high for the Dodgers ace. With a handful of starts left this season, Kershaw has a chance to reach 300 strikeouts, a feat only the great Sandy Koufax has achieved in Dodgers history.
More importantly, Kershaw is peaking just in time with the postseason right around the corner. In the second half of the season, the 27-year-old is 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA in nine games. Moreover, Kershaw has 91 strikeouts and just 7 walks since the All-Star break.[divide]