Clayton Kershaw hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts, and in the process he’s lowered his ERA to a season-best 3.76.
Kershaw was scintillating Sunday while shutting out the Angels over seven innings, surrendering just four hits while striking out five. That performance followed a strong showing against the potent Texas Rangers in which he threw 5.2 innings of shutout ball.
Evidence that Kershaw is maturing into a future ace came in the fifth inning Sunday when he loaded the bases on a pair of walks and an error, then proceeded to get Bobby Abreu to ground into a double play and Torii Hunter to pop out to shortstop Rafael Furcal to end the inning.
When Kershaw loaded the bases, Dodger manager Joe Torre turned to pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and said, “He got himself into this jam, let him get himself out of it.”
Torre was beaming afterward.
“The kid grew up in a hurry today,” Torre said. “This has to do a lot for his confidence.”
Thing is, with Kershaw coming on strong and Russell Martin showing some life with the bat this weekend, the Dodgers could be setting themselves up for a dominant summer when Manny Ramirez returns July 3 from his MLB suspension.
And maybe even a better fall.