Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw went eight innings, allowing a run and scattering three hits earning his major league-leading 17th win of the season in Los Angeles’ 4-1 win over the Washington Nationals Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
It seems to be so easy for Kershaw who’s been virtually automatic. A model of consistency every five days when he’s on the hill and handed the ball.
“You always want to be consistent,” said Kershaw who struck out eight batters and lowered his ERA to 1.70, “It’s cliché but you always want to give your team a chance. You want to contribute every five days and that’s important for each starting pitcher.”
“He’s been very consistent,” said Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon. “He’s always been that way for us and right now he’s at another level.”
With those eight strikeouts, Kershaw surpassed 200 strikeouts in a season for the fifth consecutive year joining Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton as the only pitchers in franchise history to surpass 200 strikeouts in five consecutive seasons.
Since being cliché seems to work for Kershaw, I’ll do the same.
Kershaw (17-3) helped out his own cause (thank you) starting a 5th inning rally with a base hit up the middle off of Nationals (78-59, 1st place NL East) starter Doug Fister and later scored the game’s first run after some aggressive base running in which he challenged Washington center fielder Bryce Harper taking off from first and sliding into third on a Dee Gordon single.
“It’s fun to be a baseball player,” said Kershaw when asked about the play. “It’s fun to do all facets of the game so when there’s a little dirt on your jersey it feels like you actually contributed.”
Harper got him back by depositing one of Kershaw’s fastballs in the seats in right-center for a solo homerun. Harper’s 11th of the season and fourth in five games. It was the first home run by a left hander off Kershaw this season.
Dodgers (78-61, 1st place NL West) third baseman Juan Uribe – fresh off the disabled list – rocked a two-run shot of Fister (12-6) in the sixth for his seventh home run of the season.
Closer Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for L.A. registering his 39th save of the season.
The rubber game of the series is a rare Wednesday afternoon businessman’s special at Chavez Ravine with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10pm.