If that isn’t enough, Kershaw reached 100 strikeouts on the season with the lowest number of walks at the time (nine); shattering Sandy Koufax’s record of 19 in 1965. Then there’s another elite group the Dodger ace has joined.
Kershaw is one of four pitchers to finish a month with a 6-0 record, sub-1.00 ERA and 50 strikeouts. The company he joins consists of Randy Johnson (April 2000), Nomo (June 1995) and Justin Verlander (June 2011). Both Johnson and Verlander went on to win the Cy Young in the respective years they accomplished the feat.
If the pattern holds, Kershaw should hoist his third Cy Young in four years. The year Kershaw didn’t win the award, 2012, he finished with a better WAR, ERA and WHIP than winner R.A. Dickey. From 2011-2013, Kershaw led the NL in ERA and WHIP.
Kershaw held hitters to a career-best .195 batting average against last season and should his current body of work carry over into the coming months, he may very well beat that.
With 115 strikeouts through 13 starts, Kershaw is averaging 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings, which would also set a new high and he may set a new personal record for runners left on base.
His 1.85 ERA is best in the Majors, though he is still 1.2 innings away from qualifying. The stats and accolades Kershaw has accumulated thus far are nothing short of astounding. As impressive as they are, his competitive spirit must not be overlooked.
The success on the mound and large contract signed in the off-season hasn’t changed Kershaw’s approach, at least not negatively. He’s still among the first, if not the first Dodger to hit the field for a pre-game workout.
Kershaw has returned each season with a relentless drive to improve and it’s part of what separates him from his contemporaries.
The Dodger ace may not break Hershiser’s streak of 59 scoreless innings, but he is nonetheless in the midst of an impressive stretch of pitching with no end in sight.
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter