On a night in which he went seven innings and allowed just one run, some were saying that Clayton Kershaw wasn’t quite himself.
It could be because he struck out just five Colorado Rockies, or simply because so much is expected that anything besides extraordinary is just ordinary, by his standards. Either way, the Los Angeles Dodgers won and reduced their magic number to 12, while Kershaw lowered his ERA to 2.12 and won his 14th game.
The reigning MVP did say that the Rockies gave him a tough time on Monday night. “Not great all the way around,” Kershaw admitted on his performance. “I was fortunate to get through seven, they had a great game plan. They had a lot of line outs and they were hitting balls pretty hard right at guys the whole night, so I was fortunate to get out of there with a win. I felt like everything was OK. You have to give them credit.”
Kershaw is 4-0 against the Rockies this season, but also has a 3.34 ERA against them. He’s also averaging under 7.0 innings per start against them.
Before the game, manager Don Mattingly said he would be keeping an eye on Kershaw and Zack Greinke in order to keep them fresh for the postseason. Kershaw doesn’t have any feelings either way about extra rest. “I’m good with whatever,” he said. “I’ll take the extra days when I get them, and I’m fine on normal rest. Whatever is fine with me.”
He threw 105 pitches on Monday, and likely would have gone more if needed. Mattingly had inserted Mike Bolsinger into the starting rotation to get his guys an extra day, and they should be on regular rotation the rest of the way.
Finally, Kershaw was asked about the potential Cy Young race coming down to him and his teammate, Greinke. While Kershaw is 14-6 with a 2.12 ERA and league-leading 264 strikeouts, Greinke leads the league with a 1.61 ERA to go along with his 17-3 record. Kershaw doesn’t believe that he will be in serious consideration when compared to his fellow ace. “It’s not my main concern,” the reigning Cy Young said. “I don’t think Zack has too much to worry about, though.”
It will be interesting to see how the duo finishes in the voting, but regardless of that, the Dodgers are the winners with both in their rotation.