Clayton Kershaw earned his 11th consecutive win on Sunday as he threw eight innings of one-run baseball. The victory pushed Kershaw’s record to 14-2, which ties him for most in MLB and lowered his ERA to 1.78, which is best in the Majors.
When asked about his latest string of success by Dan Patrick, Kershaw revealed how he keeps his accomplishments in perspective:
You try not to think about it. I always you’re not as good as they say you are and you’re not as bad as people say you are. So, I kind of stick with that motto.”
As for his well-documented foul mood on game days, Kershaw said his battery mate attempts to deliver a positive message during mound visits:
A.J. tries. I’m not the easiest to talk to as it is. I don’t give him much at all. I don’t know why. I’m not very friendly. So A.J. tries really hard when he comes out there. I threw like five balls in a row, he came out there yesterday. ‘Refocus, you got this guy.’ Positive encouragement, which is awesome. I just kind of stare at him with a blank face so I don’t think he thinks it’s getting through.”
Given his dominating success this season and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rise to the top of the National League standings, Kershaw has very much been in the MVP discussion.
As for whether or not Kershaw is deserving of the MVP award, he didn’t necessarily give pitchers a ringing endorsement:
I don’t know. I think the MVP goes to the best player. If someone thinks the pitcher is the best player, then sure. But obviously it’s going to be more difficult for us because we don’t get a lot of opportunities.”
Kershaw raised some eyebrows recently when he refused to discuss facing Mike Trout and clarified that stance:
Honestly, I was just getting tired of talking about it. Mike Trout is an awesome guy. I love talking about him. He’s so fun to watch. One of my favorite players, best player in the game. I gave up three runs and I gave up hits to pretty much their whole lineup that day. Everybody wanted to dissect the three at-bats to Mike Trout and I’d rather just talk about the whole game.”
Trout collected an infield single and double in his first two regular season at-bats against Kershaw. The lefty then struck him out looking in the third at-bat. Should Kershaw win the NL MVP and Cy Young Award this season, he’ll be the first pitcher since Justin Verlander did so in 2011.
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter