LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw all but wrapped up his second National League Cy Young Award on Friday night as the Dodgers drubbed the Rockies 11-0 in the opener of a weekend series at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw allowed just four hits in his six scoreless innings and struck out eight with no walks for his 16th victory of the year. He finished his campaign with a 1.83 ERA in a career-high 236 innings, with a National League-leading 232 strikeouts.
"If he's not the best, you're going to have to sell me on who is better," manager Don Mattingly said before Friday's game. "It's hard to say somebody is better than Kershaw."
Kershaw will lead the majors in ERA for a third consecutive season, joining Lefty Grove (1929-31) and Greg Maddux (1993-95) as the only pitchers ever to do that.
Kershaw has the first sub-2.00 ERA in the majors since Roger Clemens posted a 1.87 ERA in 2005, and has the lowest ERA since Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 ERA in 2000. The last Dodgers pitcher, before Kershaw, to have an ERA under 2.00 was Sandy Koufax, who did so in 1966 (1.73), 1964 (1.74) and 1963 (1.88).
Kershaw will also lead the majors with a 0.915 WHIP. He joins Koufax (1962-65) as the only Dodgers to lead the NL in WHIP in three straight years.
There have only been three Dodgers to post an ERA under 3.00 in five consecutive seasons: Nap Rucker (1907-13, in the dead ball era), Koufax (1962-66) and Kershaw (2009-13).
Kershaw finished his regular season with 13 consecutive scoreless innings. In his last 81 starts, dating back to July 2011, Kershaw has a 1.99 ERA.
But after watching the Dodgers score two or fewer runs in 16 of his first 32 starts, Kershaw got all the support in the world on Friday.
Collin McHugh seems to have been a gift from the baseball gods who wonder how in the hell Kershaw had nine losses with a sub-2.00 ERA. Six times in 2013 Kershaw allowed two or fewer runs in seven or more innings and didn't get a win, but run support was no problem on Friday night.
Adrian Gonzalez drove in his 100th run of the season with a solo home run in the third inning to put the Dodgers up 5-0. His 22nd home run gave him 100 RBI for the sixth time in the last seven years, something Gonzalez shares with only Miguel Cabrera (seven straight years) and Prince Fielder.
Carl Crawford hit a three-run shot down the right field line in the fourth inning to make it 8-0. It was Crawford's first home run since May 6, after a span of 85 full games and 347 plate appearances without one.
McHugh allowed eight runs on nine hits in his four innings, and fell to 0-3 on the season. In his brief major league career he has pitched just 47⅓ innings but has allowed 72 hits and 50 runs, 47 of them earned. He is 0-8 and his teams - the Rockies and Mets - have lost 14 of the 15 games in which he has appeared.
A.J. Ellis kept the roll going with a two-run shot off of reliever Jeff Manship in the fifth inning, and the Dodgers tacked on another run in the sixth.
Yasiel Puig left the game in the fifth inning after fouling a pair of balls off of his left foot. He went to the clubhouse with trainer Sue Falsone, but no information was given by the end of the game. The Dodgers were up 10-0 when he left the game.
Chris Capuano pitched in his first game in three weeks on Friday and threw a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts. He is vying for a bullpen spot on the NLDS roster.
- Drew Butera singled in the seventh inning, his first hit as a Dodger in six plate appearances.
- Matt Kemp played in his first game at Dodger Stadium since June 30, and was 0-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored.
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez (22), Carl Crawford (6), A.J. Ellis (10)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (16-9): 6 IP, 4 hits, 8 strikeouts
LP - Collin McHugh (0-3): 4 IP, 9 hits, 8 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts