The awards keep coming for Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw. The Dodger lefty was named the National League Player of the Week after pitching his first no-hitter on June 18th. The announcement was made on MLB Network on Monday.
Though it was his only start of the week, Kershaw’s performance was enough to garner the award and thrust that game into the conversation for greatest game ever pitched. Facing the best-hitting team in the Major Leagues, Kershaw established a new big league record by striking out 15 while not allowing a single man to reach base via a hit, walk, or hit-by pitch. The previous mark of 14 strikeouts in such a game was shared by Nap Rucker, Sandy Koufax, and Matt Cain.
Kershaw’s trophy case is filling up, now featuring two Cy Young Awards, the Roberto Clemente Award, Branch Rickey Award, and two Sporting News Pitcher of the Year awards. The three-time all star also won the 2011 National League Triple Crown of pitching and was second in Cy Young voting in 2012. It was Kershaw’s fourth NL Player of the Week honor, having previously won one each in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The 26-year old pitched the 22nd no-hitter in Dodger franchise history, and the second of the 2014 season, matching Josh Beckett’s May 25th performance against the Phillies. The 24 days in between the team’s no hitters was the shortest span in baseball since Cincinnati’s Johnny Vander Meer held teams hitless in consecutive starts in 1938.
The dominant start overshadowed the week's performance by teammate Hyun Jin Ryu who went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and eight strikeouts in 12 innings.
With Kershaw leading the way, Los Angeles has climbed back into the race in the NL West where they once trailed by as many as nine games. The starting rotation of Kershaw, Ryu, Beckett, Zack Greinke, and Dan Haren are a combined 37-16. Three of the five have a sub 3.00 ERA, with Ryu knocking on the door at 3.06.
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Clayton Kershaw will be awarded a watch, courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.