Clayton Kershaw earned his 12th win of the season Saturday by throwing a two-hit complete-game shutout.
The Dodger ace lowered his ERA to 0.69 at AT8T Park and his overall ERA this season to 1.76, which is best in the Majors. Kershaw hasn’t suffered a loss since May 28 and is 9-0 in his last 10 starts.
Despite the prolonged success that included historic stats during June, Kershaw very much taking it start-by-start, via an AP report on ESPN:
It’s fun to win,” Kerhsaw said. “I’m happy now, but if I lose the next time out I won’t be happy. We kept scoring runs, and it seems like if I can keep throwing zeros the first three innings, we have a good chance. It’s been holding true.”
The Dodgers win, which was the second of the series, moved them 0.5-game ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West standings.
While the Dodgers have been within striking distance of the Giants, if not ahead, since making up a 9.5-game deficit, Kershaw expects a tight race down the stretch:
You don’t take for granted being in first place,” Kershaw said. “We know those guys will be right there with us to the end. We know we have to win a few more games to stay in first.”
Manager Don Mattingly aligned his starting rotation so that Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu would start the three-game series with the Giants.
It’s a decision that’s thus far paid dividends and Mattingly could come up golden if Ryu and the Dodgers are able to complete the sweep Sunday.
After spending more than a month on the disabled list, Kershaw appears to be well on his way towards claiming the third Cy Young Award of his career.
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter