Clayton Kershaw Closing In On Triple Crown & More

Clayton Kershaw concludes his amazing season on Sunday afternoon as the Dodgers finish a weekend series at Petco Park in San Diego. There are several statistical goals for Kershaw to shoot for.

Kershaw currently leads the majors with a 2.27 ERA. Cliff Lee is second place at 2.38, and if Lee pitches a nine-inning shutout Monday in Atlanta his ERA would be 2.2914. If Kershaw allows two runs on Sunday, he needs at least six innings to beat that (would be 2.2888); if he allows three runs, he would need to pitch 9 2/3 innings to match the hypothetical Lee. In other words, if Kershaw allows two earned runs or less in six innings or more today, he will lead the majors in ERA.

Kershaw has 242 strikeouts, which leads the National League and is 10 more than Lee. Kershaw is eight strikeouts behind major league leader Justin Verlander, who made his final start of the season on Saturday night.

Ian Kennedy won his 21st game on Saturday as the Arizona Diamondbacks eliminated the San Francisco Giants from the postseason, so Kershaw needs a win today to tie Kennedy for the National League lead.

Kershaw, who has won his last seven decisions and is 12-1 in his last 14 starts with a 1.13 ERA, is also closing in on some other numbers:

Last Time A Dodger Had... Year Pitcher
230 innings (Kershaw is at 226) 2001 Chan Ho Park (234)
235 innings 1999 Kevin Brown (252 1/3)
247 strikeouts (Kershaw at 242) 1969 Bill Singer (247)
250 strikeouts 1966 Sandy Koufax (317)
21 wins 1988 Orel Hershiser (23)
194 strikeouts minus walks (Kershaw at 189) 1963 Don Drysdale (194)
200 strikeouts minus walks 1966 Sandy Koufax (240)
Six complete games (Kershaw has five) 1995 Ismael Valdes (6)
Three shutouts (Kershaw has two) 1995 Hideo Nomo (3)
An ERA of 2.20 or lower (Kershaw needs 7+ scoreless) 1985 Orel Hershiser (2.03)
A WHIP under 1.000 (Kershaw needs no more than 2 H + BB than IP) 2002 Odalis Perez (0.990)

Koufax is the only Dodger ever to have at least 200 more strikeouts than walks in a single season, and he did it three times: 1963 (248), 1965 (311), and 1966 (240). Kershaw needs 11 more strikeouts than walks today to join that club.

*****

Game Time: 1:05 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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