As fate would have hit, Clayton Kershaw takes the mound Wednesday looking to add to his historic season and clinch the National League West title for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Kershaw’s 20 wins are matched by St. Louis Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright, but Kershaw leads the Majors in nearly every key statistic. The lefty is widely considered the favorite to be named both NL Cy Young Award winner and MVP.
While a winner has yet to be named for the on-field awards, Kershaw’s contributions off the field haven’t gone unnoticed. He’s a candidate for the Roberto Clemente Award and on Monday, was named the winner of the Roy Campanella Award; becoming the first Dodger to win in back-to-back seasons.
During a pre-game interview Monday which aired on Access SportsNet: Dodgers, Kershaw discussed the honor of being winning the team-issued award:
“It’s huge. I think you have your teammates respect, that’s really so important for me. There’s so much you can do on the field, but you want to be a good teammate. You’re with these guys so much, six months out of the year, eight months out of the year, for 10-12 hours a day. So to have those guys’ respect and get a vote from them is really an honor.”
As for his personal accomplishments thus far in 2014, Kershaw said he’ll take a brief moment once the season ends to reflect on the year he’s had:
You look back. You give yourself a day or two at the end of the year. It’s so hard to do it during the season. Once you go home you try to relax a little bit, look back at it and you know it seems like it goes by so fast. You get that week off but try and enjoy it for at least a week or so.”
If Kershaw earns a win Wednesday, it would improve his record against the Giants this season to 2-0 in three starts and give him a sixth straight win overall. Kershaw’s current winning streak is the second-longest of the season, as the southpaw strung together 11 wins during a stretch that began June 2.
Wednesday is presumably Kerhaw’s final regular-season start and even with another outing on short rest, he will finish the year with less than 30 starts for the first time since his rookie season.