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Clayton Kershaw, All-Star

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At 23, Clayton Kershaw will be the youngest Dodgers All-Star pitcher since <a href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NLS/NLS199007100.shtml" target="new">Ramon Martinez in 1990</a>.
At 23, Clayton Kershaw will be the youngest Dodgers All-Star pitcher since Ramon Martinez in 1990.

Clayton Kershaw tonight makes his last audition before tomorrow morning's All-Star selections, though by all accounts the southpaw should be a lock to make his first All-Star team. After all, among National League starters, Kershaw ranks:

  • Tied for 4th in FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (3.4)
  • 5th in Baseball-Reference WAR (3.4)
  • 10th in ERA (2.93)
  • 14th in ERA+ (122)
  • 3rd in Fielding Independent Pitching (2.49)
  • 3rd in Expected FIP (2.73)
  • Tied for 9th in wins (8)
  • 1st in strikeouts (128)
  • 1st in strikeouts per nine innings (9.87)
  • 4th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.00)
  • Tied for 3rd in innings pitched (116 2/3)
  • Tied for 4th in innings per start (6.86)
  • 4th in opponent's batting average (.211)
  • 3rd in opponent's on-base percentage (.267)
  • 2nd in opponent's slugging percentage (.304)
  • 2nd in opponent's OPS (.571)
  • 3rd in complete games (3)
  • tied for 2nd in shutouts (2)

However, when looking for All-Stars we tend to focus only on the first half of the current year, while the previous year's second half goes unnoticed. In the last calendar year, here are Kershaw's numbers:

Clayton Kershaw Since July 3, 2010
G IP W-L H R ER BB K ERA WHIP
33 222.1 14-9 174 74 69 65 232 2.79 1.075

The Dodgers open the "second half" of their season in Arizona, but for Kershaw and Matt Kemp it appears their stays in Phoenix will be about four days longer.

Tonight's Game

Kershaw has a rematch with Jered Weaver, six days after last Sunday's epic duel at Dodger Stadium. Weaver allowed just one run in seven innings, but Kershaw got the win by going the distance, allowing two runs, as the Dodgers scored a pair of runs in the ninth inning to avoid an Angel sweep. It was the second straight complete game for Kershaw, and third in his last six starts. The last Dodgers starter to pitch three straight complete games was Kevin Brown in June 2000.

Great Starts

Kershaw does have three complete games, and two shutouts, in his last six starts. Back-to-back starts allowing six runs, in Cincinnati and Colorado, have kept this from being an otherworldly stretch by Kershaw. Even including the two bad starts, his ERA during the stretch is just 2.89. However, both of those starts began well, and unraveled in the sixth and seven innings. In the first five innings of the last six starts combined, Kershaw has allowed just one run in 30 innings, allowing 10 hits and 4 walks, with 38 strikeouts.

Let's Get Ready To Trumbooooooooo

Both benches were warned last night after Hiroki Kuroda hit Mark Trumbo with a pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was the fourth HBP of the game -- two by both teams -- including one that got Torii Hunter on the hand and forced him to leave the game after the first inning. After the game, Angels manager Mike Scioscia was steaming over Kuroda hitting Trumbo, per Sam Miller of the Orange County Register:

"You like to give guys the benefit of the doubt, but he almost hit him on the first pitch. Mark’s way off the plate. The second one was a laser right at him. The intent was obvious."

A reporter started to ask another question, and Scioscia cut him off:

"How many guys has he hit this year in 100 innings?* Yeah. The guy’s got pretty good command."

Game Time: 6:05 p.m.

TV: KCAL, Fox Sports West

MLB Gameday