With the days of concern over what’s wrong seemingly behind him, Clayton Kershaw took the mound Friday night against the Chicago Cubs having thrown 28 consecutive scoreless innings at Dodger Stadium, which was the longest such streak at home in the Majors this season.
Anthony Rizzo’s solo home run in the fourth inning snapped it at 31 innings, but did little to disrupt Kershaw’s rhythm and dominance. The reigning National League MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner collected 14 strikeouts on the night and allowed just the one run over eight innings.
Kershaw’s 14 strikeouts tied a season high and fell just shy of tying his career high of 15, set when he threw the no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies last season. Kris Bryant bore the brunt of it as he led the Cubs with four strikeouts; three of which came against Kershaw.
Though Starlin Castro, Chris Denorfia, Miguel Montero and Rizzo all struck out twice; Kershaw recorded two strikeouts from the fourth through the seventh inning. The performance improved the left-hander to 11-6 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.24.
Moreover, Kershaw is 6-0 over his last 10 starts (78 innings), and owns a 0.92 ERA with 96 strikeouts to just eight walks.