Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw earned his 100th career win against the Colorado Rockies on Friday in his eighth start of the season. Although, many expected this milestone to come a bit sooner seeing as the reigning NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner entered the 2015 season with 98 career wins.
The left-hander, who finished last season 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA, is currently 2-2 with a 4.24 ERA and has been surrounded by growing questions of what’s wrong. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is not among those concerned about Kershaw and neither is three-time Cy Young Award winner Sandy Koufax.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, Koufax has zero doubt in his mind that Kershaw will put the slow start behind him come season’s end:
Before the season is over, those numbers are going to be right where they always are,” Koufax said.
The Dodgers legend also mentioned that Kershaw was not exactly on an MVP pace at the start of last season and he’s too talented to not get
Sometimes you pitch well, and the other guy pitches better. Last year he didn’t get off to a great start and it was a great year. He’s just too good for bad things to keep happening.”
Kershaw not only spent some time on the disabled list after last season’s Australia series, but when he returned to the mound after missing the entire month of April, he was 3-2 with a 3.57 ERA heading into June.
Those numbers of course quickly became irrelevant as Kershaw went on to put together a historic regular season. Some of his troubles this season can be attributed to a lack of run support as he’s given up more than three runs in just two of his eight starts.
Now with his 100th career win behind him, Kershaw may have the momentum he needs to embark on another dominant season so many are expecting.