Three greatest left handers in LA Dodger history might be Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela, and Clayton Kershaw. Tonight Clayton Kershaw will take the mound while the Dodgers celebrate Fernando's Dodger contributions with another Fernando bobblehead. One can only hope that Clayton gets his chance as Fernando and Sandy did, too pitch his team to a World Championship not once but twice. I know Sandy has three rings but giving him credit for 59 seems a bit of a reach.
For anyone who has ever gone to Dodger Stadium, they will know that Fernando continues to be the most popular player of the World Championship teams of the 80's. No one was more instrumental in bringing new fans into Dodger Stadium in the 80's then the screwballing lefty from South of the border. Plenty of sombrero's were tossed to the sky in the 80's as Fernando delivered performances that have become legendary. This is why Fernando is the only Dodger to have three Bobbleheads in his honor.
Tonight however it is Clayton Kershaw who wishes to add to his legend. The twenty three year old is just exploding before us:
- Leads the league with 167 strikeouts
- Pitched into the 8th inning in four of his last six starts
- Has not given up an earned run in 23 innings ( I thought it was 25)
- Leads MLB with a xFIP of 1.95 in July
- Kershaw has gone 7-1 with two complete games in his 11 home starts and limited opponents to a .183 batting average, the third-lowest home mark in the National League.
- Among pitchers with 20 or more starts at Dodger Stadium, Kershaw has the second-lowest all-time opponents’ batting average with a .206 mark behind only Sandy Koufax (.176) and also possesses the ninth-lowest ERA with a 2.61 spot in 55 career home starts.
- Kershaw has struck out eight or more batters in six consecutive starts, joining Sandy Koufax and Hideo Nomo as the only pitchers in Los Angeles Dodger history with such a streak. With eight or more Ks tonight, Kershaw would tie Koufax (1965) and Nomo (1995) for the second-longest streak in club history with Koufax also holding the club record by striking out eight or more in 11 straight starts from July 11-Aug. 22, 1965 (Source: Stats, LLC).
- Has a K/9 rate of 12.10 in July
- The Dodgers have won four of their last five games and seven of their last eight home games
- Los Angeles has averaged 6.1 runs per game against Colorado (61 R/10 G) this season, its highest total against any National League opponent.
- Los Angeles has won three straight over the Rockies and since the turn of the century, the Dodgers have posted a .670 winning percentage (69-34) against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium (Source: Stats, LLC).
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.