With an ailing Zack Greinke, the Los Angeles Dodgers turned to Clatyon Kershaw on Thursday with the opportunity to win the rubber match of the three-game series.
Kershaw was sharp early and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. The lone blemish for the Dodger ace up to that point was a walk he issued to Rene Rivera in the second inning, who was then erased on a double play.
Kershaw’s night ended after eight innings of one-run baseball and with the Dodgers trailing 1-0. Justin Turner’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth picked up Kerhsaw and put the southpaw in position to earn his 15th win this season.
While Turner played the role of hero for the Dodgers, he commended Kershaw for the season he’s had, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
That’s just par for the course for him,” Turner said. “I think we all know what we’re going to get from him every time he goes out there. He’s a competitor. I can’t say enough about him and the job he’s done for us all year.”
As for whether or not Kershaw is deserving of the NL MVP award, Turner joined the list of Dodgers to voice their support for the pitcher’s case:
Why not?” Turner said. “Whenever he has the ball, he’s the best player on the field. He’s got my vote.”
Manager Don Mattingly was at a loss of words to describe Kershaw and complimented him for his ability to remain focused and move forward, via ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t think I’ve seen anybody like this guy,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We’ve talked about it so many other times, but he’s just constantly driven. It’s start-to-start. Tomorrow will be on to the next one, and he’ll be on a mission for that one. He’s a guy with just a huge motor as far as wanting to compete. Again, I don’t know how much more I can talk about him without saying the same things over and over.”
By picking up his 15th win on the season, Kershaw is tied for the Major League lead. He ALSO leads MLB in ERA (1.82) and WHIP (0.83). So long as Kershaw continues with his strong outings, he’ll make it difficult to be left out of the conversation for MVP consideration and a third Cy Young Award.
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter