Daily Distractions: Is Clayton Kershaw in the midst of the best season ever by a Dodgers pitcher?

Clayton Kershaw

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw didn’t allow a run in eight innings against the New York Yankees on Wednesday. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis gets the bigger picture of his existence as a Major League Baseball player. He doesn’t strike me as an over-the-top baseball historian like Curt Schilling, or a numbers guy like Brandon McCarthy, but he does catch Clayton Kershaw every fifth day. So he gets it.

“We’re spoiled, that’s all I can say, having him on our team and on our pitching staff,” Ellis said after the Dodgers’ 3-0 loss to the Yankees yesterday. “We’re teammates with somebody who’s really, really special.”

Some perspective on Kershaw: His 1.87 earned-run average is the lowest in baseball, and he has a chance to post the first sub-2.00 ERA by a Dodgers pitcher since Sandy Koufax in 1966. If the season ended today, Kershaw would qualify for the ERA title (he’s pitched 168 innings) and would own the third-lowest ERA in a single season in Dodgers history. In terms of ERA+, which accounts for how many runs are being scored around the league in a given year, Kershaw is in the midst of the best season by a pitcher in Dodgers history, a hair better than Koufax’s 1966 season.

But Ellis doesn’t need the numbers. He sees it all the time. “The fact that (Kershaw) can come out and reproduce what he does,” Ellis said, “is what makes him the best in the league.”

Onto the bullet points for a Colorado statehood day:

An interesting take from New York: The Yankees need to start emulating the Dodgers.

USA Today profiled Dodgers head athletic trainer Sue Falsone.

• Yesterday was a tough day for a trade-deadline gambler like Ned Colletti.

• Five different Dodgers prospects drew heavy interest at the trade deadline, and none was Yasiel Puig. That’s probably a step up from recent years, but it also indicates there’s still room for the Dodgers’ prospect pool to grow.

• In case you missed Vin Scully calling Mariano Rivera‘s last inning at Dodger Stadium, here it is in its entirety.

• Yesterday, Puig juggled a baseball with his feet with Cristiano Ronaldo.

• Tony Bosch might have sold performance-enhancing drugs to high school baseball players, and that has the federal government’s attention.

• A researcher polled the public to determine who are the most untrustworthy athletes in the world. Manny Ramirez is on the list. So is Pete Rose. Now Ryan Braun is, too. There’s a great quote from Repucom’s CEO: “Even Tiger didn’t fall down this low.”

This article has nothing to do with baseball, and I have no idea why Seed re-published it yesterday, seven years after its original pub date, but here’s your takeaway: “Using the connection, Keating and Snaith not only explained why the answer to life, the universe and the third moment of the Riemann zeta function should be 42.”

• The track “Vi kommer aldrig bli som er” by Ditt Inre is another shining example of how we’ve evolved to make 80’s music better now than we did in the 80’s:

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