Clayton Kershaw won his second National League Player of the Week award this season, for the week ending Sunday. It’s the fifth NLPOY award of his career.
From the MLB press release:
The birth of a new nickname? Maybe.
Kershaw at the very least matched a 29-year-old team record. He’s 19-3, good for a .864 winning percentage, with two starts left in the regular season. Orel Hershiser went 19-3 in 1985, the only Los Angeles Dodger to finish a season with a winning percentage that high.
Here’s what Hershiser had to say about Kershaw’s season last Wednesday, four days before Kershaw matched his record:
Things you learn by talking to people after a game: The Dodgers’ win over the Giants today might have depended on overcoming a misunderstanding.
Joc Pederson didn’t get into the game. In fact, he wasn’t even the left-hander chosen to pinch hit for Clayton Kershaw in the ninth inning against right-hander Hunter Strickland — Andre Ethier was. Behind the scenes, he’s still adjusting to a new routine. You can read about that here.
SAN FRANCISCO >> After the Giants scored all nine runs Friday, and the Dodgers scored all 17 runs Saturday, the two teams will be hard-pressed to put up a crooked number in Sunday’s series finale.
Clayton Kershaw is starting for the Dodgers. He’s had the efficiency of a robot all season. Here are a few numbers that make it hard to believe he will allow a run today:
In theory, Kershaw would start Sunday in San Francisco, Sept. 19 in Chicago, and Sept. 24 at home against the Giants. That presumes that Kershaw takes every turn in the rotation in order, on schedule.
A few implications:
The Dodgers made three errors on a single play in the sixth inning of Monday’s game against the San Diego Padres.
On a superficial level, Thursday night proved it was possible. Columnist Jill Painter reports that the two were bounced in the first round of Kershaw’s second annual “Ping Pong 4 Purpose” charity event at Dodger Stadium.
In all the ways that matter, Kershaw carried the day. A slew of Hollywood celebrities and Dodger players participated in the event, whose proceeds benefit Kershaw’s Challenge. From Jill’s column:
The money raised from the event will go toward building another orphanage in Africa and money to help pay for surgeries and medical care. In addition, funds will help the Dream Center, an organization that helps people move from the street to transitional housing.
Click here to view a photo gallery from the event.
This year, Kershaw is on track to make it four years in a row. He’s 16-3 with a 1.73 ERA and a major-league leading six complete games.
Maddux never finished higher than third in National League Most Valuable Player voting in 23 major-league seasons. Speaking Friday at Petco Park, the recently inducted Hall of Famer thinks Kershaw has a shot at winning the award this year.
“I don’t have a vote,” Maddux said, asked if Kershaw should win the award. “That [winning three straight MLB ERA titles] is what it would take for a pitcher to win the MVP. That and a down year on the hitter’s side.”
It so happens that offense is down across the board this season. The OPS for the entire major leagues is .703, which would be the lowest mark since 1992 (.700).
Even though he wouldn’t commit an MVP vote to Kershaw, Maddux offered some high praise for his former teammate.
“His consistency is off the charts good,” Maddux said. “Everybody who wears a major-league uniform is good in their own way. There’s guys who can do it every time they put on the uniform. … Every time you see a player whose bad games are good, it’s special.”
Greinke had an MRI on the elbow two weeks ago that “didn’t show anything different than when we first signed him,” Mattingly said. He isn’t expected to go on the disabled list.
But with Kershaw able to start tomorrow on regular rest — as well as Dan Haren, who now starts Friday — the Dodgers decided to hold Greinke back as a precaution.
“We’re better off giving him a couple extra days for the long term,” Mattingly said.