Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Kershaw won, Reds 0

IMG_8193image2 image1

By Jon Weisman

With the Dodger bullpen depleted, with the Dodger offense tired, Clayton Kershaw gave Los Angeles exactly what it needed.

Inning after inning of zeroes.

Despite a late rush, Kershaw’s streak of double-digit strikeouts ended tonight. But nothing else of his season-long dominance did, as he sliced through the Cincinnati Reds on 102 pitches for a 1-0 Dodger victory.

This was the first time in seven starts since April 15 that Kershaw didn’t whiff at least 10 batters. No matter. He has already tied his career high with his third shutout of the season.

Cincinnati basically had one window against Kershaw, and that came one second into the game. Zack Cozart hit the unceremonial first pitch down the left-field line for a double. Billy Hamilton bunted him to third, and Kershaw went 3-0 in the count to Joey Votto.

But two strikes later, Votto lined to short, and two more pitches later, Brandon Phillips grounded to third. For the rest of the game, the Reds would get one runner to second base, and one other runner to first base.

Kershaw never weakened despite his latest episode of daredevil baserunning. In the fifth inning, after forcing A.J. Ellis with a sharp grounder in the hole at short, Kershaw went from first to third on a wild pitch and throwing error, sliding aggressively into two bases on one play.

Alas for him, he was stranded there, but an inning later, he got the run he needed when Howie Kendrick’s double-play grounder scored Justin Turner from third base.

Kershaw lowered his ERA to 1.48, and he has struck out 95 batters, or 10.8 per nine innings.

Some other wonderful notes:

  • Kershaw is the first big-leaguer with three shutouts in a calendar month since Felix Hernandez in August 2012, and the first to do it in the month of May since David Cone in 1994.
  • He struck out seven and walked one, and his strikeout-walk ratio fell from 22 to 19.
  • For the second time this year, he just misssed a Maddux, with his pitch count on the shutout creeping over 100 with two out in the ninth. He threw 101 pitches in his May 1 shutout of the Padres.
  • Kershaw has thrown 79 innings in 10 starts this season. He is the first Dodger to start the season with 10 games of at least seven innings since Fernandomania in 1981. The Los Angeles record is 12 by Bill Singer in 1968.
  • Despite all the innings, Kershaw’s pitch count remains remarkably low. Kershaw is averaging 104.5 pitches per start, with an MLB-best and career-low 13.2 pitches per inning.
  • Kershaw lowered his WHIP to 0.66. He, along with the White Sox’ Chris Sale (0.71), are on pace to break the MLB record for WHIP of 0.74, set by Pedro Martinez in 2000.
  • He continues to have two more wins this year (seven) than walks (five).
  • This was Kershaw’s third career two-hitter and fifth complete game of two hits or less. His previous two two-hitters came three weeks apart in 2011.
  • Kershaw has pitched 42 innings this month without allowing a home run. The last Dodger to pitch that many innings in a homerless month was Chan Ho Park in September/October 2000.
  • Every one of Kershaw’s five May starts has ended in less than 2:30.
  • In Kershaw’s past 1,000 innings, dating back to September 9, 2011, his ERA is 1.998.


Seventeen innings later, what’s new?


Postseason Kershaw: Do you remember only the bad, or also the good?


  1. The other day I said Kershae and Jensen might be the best starter/closer combo of all time. I still think that is true but that being said Clayton might be the best closer since number 32. It’s a different game in 2016 than it wias in the 1960s but I think if given the chance Kershaw could throw 300 plus innings and strike out 300 plus hitters. I hope this generation of Dodger fans appreciates Kershaw as much as I appreciated Koufax when I was young.

  2. Probably the most impressive stay is that last one, ERA under 2 in last 1000 innings, a big sample size. Just an absolute remarkable pitcher.

  3. Good morning Jon. If I had your email address I would email you this but instead I’ll post it here. I’d like to see the final Dodger Insider magazine of this season be devoted entirely to Vin. Collect some shorter articles about him that have been published over the years, add some pictures of him from over the decades, and put a permanent post on your website where fans can write about what he has meant to them and publish some of those comments in the magazine. It is a magazine that would be a true keepsake.

  4. oldbrooklynfan

    One thing I wish I could stop. Rooting for Kershaw to keep maintaining and breaking these records of his, during the game. I keep counting the strikeouts and the zeroes he puts up. Taking a breath after each milestone is reached. Yeah, he’s a phenomena alright. Truly great.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén