|(photo by Dillip Vishwanat/Getty Images)|
It's another Clayton Kershaw start today. The question on many a Dodger fan's mind is if the team will buck the trend and score some runs for their ace. This time before a national television audience as the ESPN Sunday night game, this is the opportunity for the Dodgers to show everyone the dominating team that they are.
With a 35-8 record since June 22nd and 19-3 record since the all star break, the Dodgers get some national exposure tonight against one of the best American League teams around. A sweep of the Rays will definitely send a message to everyone. This is also Kershaw's opportunity to let the East Coast wonks know that despite his lackluster 10-7 record, he's the best pitcher in baseball.
In his last three starts, the Dodgers have scored three runs total for him. In 22 of his 24 starts, they have scored him four runs or less. Kershaw receives the fourth worst run support in the majors. With any sort of run support that is a tick beneath the average, Kershaw would have 17 or 18 wins this far. With good run support, he'd probably be a 20 game winner already. Sporting a 1.91 ERA thus far, Clayton on on track to have one of the greatest seasons of a starting pitcher in Dodger history.
|(photo by Harry How/Getty Images)|
The ultimate team player, you'll never see an inkling of frustration from Clayton. He'll never criticize his teammates or display a "woe is me" attitude, though it would be perfectly understandable if he did. It's all about the team with Kershaw, as he's the first player out on the field to celebrate walk off wins when the Dodgers pull off that frequent miracle win as they did on Friday night.
Kershaw will have approximately nine more starts this season, so a twenty win season is out of the question now, but with any decent run support the remainder of the year, he should walk away with a minimum of 15 wins. The Dodger division lead is now 6.5 games, so it is probably likely that if the team is able to sew up a playoff spot early, Kershaw's work load might be lightened to prepare him to be at full strength for post season play. That would be a best case scenario, and something that a team player like Kershaw would completely support.
Jeremy Hellickson has not been stellar in his last two starts but was quite good during the seven starts before those two. It seems regardless of who is pitching against Clayton , the offense shows up batless. Maybe they have the same virus that is decimating the Nova Scotia bat population.ReplyDelete
I would guess that as usual the offense may be a bit offensive in a Clayton start. I hope not. I would like a good start so he can just relax and pitch without having to worry about giving up a run.