"I just wanted to tell you good luck, and that we're all counting on you."
Clayton Kershaw was his usual brilliant self on Thursday afternoon, helping the Dodgers avoid a sweep with a 5-1 win over the Brewers in the series finale at Miller Park. For the eighth time this season, Kershaw did not allow a run in a start. This time, he set the Brewers down for eight scoreless innings.
Kershaw also didn't walk a batter, but we have reached a point in his career that it shouldn't really be a surprise. Kershaw has walked two or fewer batters in 21 of 26 starts this season, and he is averaging 2.25 walks per nine innings this season, the second straight year he has improved by more than a walk per nine innings. Since the All-Star break, Kershaw is 6-1 with a 1.53 ERA in seven starts, with 11 walks and 52 strikeouts in 53 innings.
Kershaw had six strikeouts in Thursday's game, giving him 199 on the season, tops in the National League. With the win, Kershaw became the first Dodger to get his 15th win before September since Hideo Nomo in 2003.
Oh yeah, and the Dodgers scored five runs too. Rod Barajas opened the scoring with a solo home run in the second inning. Barajas has 11 home runs on the season, which is now second on the team.
In his first outing in six days, Javy Guerra allowed a run in the ninth. It was the first run allowed by Guerra since July 6, a span of 12 games.
WP - Clayton Kershaw (15-5): 8 IP, 5 hits, 6 strikeouts
LP - Marco Estrada (3-8): 5 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts