Over at SI.com, Cliff takes a look at the CY Young races. Check out who he’s got leading the NL race:
1. Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers (3)
Season Stats: 16-5, 2.51 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 9.8 K/9 (207 K), 4.31 K/BB, 4 CG, 2 SHO
Last Four Starts: 3-1, 1.59 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 9.5 K/9, 5.00 K/BB
Six weeks ago, Kershaw reappeared on this list at number five. Three weeks ago he was at number three. Now he’s on top for the first time all season. Here’s why: In his last 13 starts, dating back to mid June, Kershaw has gone 10-2 with a 1.65 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 105 strikeouts in 98 innings against just 19 walks. He has averaged more than 7 1/3 innings per start over that stretch, not allowed an earned run in six of those 13 starts, struck out nine or more men in six of them, and finished three of them, including a shutout of the AL Central-leading Tigers back in late June.
Those 13 starts account for nearly half of his season (27 starts total), and the other half was hardly lacking. Kershaw was 6-3 with a 2.62 ERA at the end of May with nine quality starts in 12 turns including four in which he did not allow a run and four in which he struck out nine or more. Two duds in hitters’ parks (Cincinnati and Colorado) separated those 12 starts from his last 13, a reminder that he has had more success in his friendly home stadium. That’s true of the majority of the pitchers on these lists, though, including Beckett and the three Phillies below, all of whom pitch in parks that typically favor hitters.
It’s been a drag of a season for the Dodgers but they’ve got a horse in the CY Young race and a bona fide MVP candidate in Matt Kemp. Love it that Kemp went 1-1 with an RBI, a run scored and four walks last night.