Clayton Kershaw named National League Player of the Week

Clayton Kershaw was highly focused this week and dominated opposing batters. - USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball awarded Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers with the first National League Player of the Week Award for the 2013 season.

Clayton Kershaw has been awarded the first National League Player of the Week Award of the season by Major League Baseball.

Kershaw opened the season sublimely with sixteen sweet innings of shutout baseball, including an Opening Day, 94-pitch, complete-game domination of the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers' southpaw followed up that performance by whitewashing the Pittsburgh Pirates for seven more innings on Saturday.

For the week, opposing batters tallied a line of merely .118 / .135 / .118 against Kershaw, while striking out 16 times. That strikeout total is third-best in the Senior Circuit, trailing Jeff Samardzija, who collected 22, and A.J. Burnett with 19. In contrast, Kershaw has allowed only one walk this season.

Kershaw also homered in the eighth inning of his first game to break a scoreless tie and became the only pitcher other than Bob Lemon to toss a shutout and blast a homer the season opener for his team.

If one includes the end of last season, Kershaw's scoreless innings streak currently stands at 20.0 innings. This is the third career N.L. Player of the Week honor for the 2011 N.L. Cy Young Award winner (also: June 20-26, 2011 and May 14-20, 2012).

Baseball's week runs from Monday to Sunday.

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