During the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants Sunday afternoon, Clayton Kershaw pitched another gem on his way to becoming MLB’s first 19-game winner this season.
In the game, he threw 110 pitches over eight innings in which he surrendered two runs while also striking out nine and only walking one batter. It was a routine outing for Kershaw, who has now gone at least eight innings in his last seven starts.
Whenever Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers, many assume he will put forth yet another dominating performance. Following his latest start, Dan Haren marveled on Kershaw’s ability to manage the high expectations, via to ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
I almost kind of feel bad for him,” Los Angeles Dodgers veteran pitcher Dan Haren said. “Everyone just expects him to win, everyone just expects him to go out there and throw eight or nine innings and give up zero or one run. That must be quite the burden to put on him, but obviously it doesn’t seem to bother him.”
Additionally, Haren also noted how a Kershaw start changes the team’s demeanor:
When he takes the mound, I think there’s just a looseness in the clubhouse, just a feeling that we’re going to win.”
After having his 11-game winning streak snapped in a complete-game loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, Kershaw has responded with wins in his last five decisions. Within the same span, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner has lowered his ERA from 1.82 to 1.70 and has only given up more than two runs on one occasion.
Kershaw is in line to win his third Cy Young in four years and could potentially win the NL MVP award should he continue to dominate in his two remaining scheduled starts on the year.
Clayton Kershaw A Cy Young And MVP Candidate?