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Clayton Kershaw, not just a home run hitter

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The Dodgers' co-leader in home runs, it turns out, has also performed adequately on the mound.

Stephen Dunn

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound against the Pirates on Saturday night, looking to continue his great run. Not only did he pitch a shutout on opening day, but dating back to last season Kershaw has been especially stingy of late.

Kershaw has...

  • not allowed a run in his last 13 innings.
  • allowed one run in his last 27 innings.
  • allowed four total runs (three earned runs) in his last six starts, over 44 innings.
  • given up two or fewer runs in each of his last nine starts.
  • 15 quality starts in his last 16 outings, with a 1.94 ERA, 117 strikeouts and 31 walks in 116 innings during that span.
  • 16 starts in his career with no walks, including Monday against San Francisco. He had four such games in 2010, five in 2011, and six in 2012.

Two of those no-walk games for Kershaw came in 2012, in his two starts against the Pirates. He struck out 15 in 15 innings against Pittsburgh, and allowed just four total runs in a pair of Dodgers' wins.

Kershaw has owned Pedro Alvarez (0-for-4, four strikeouts) and Starling Marte (0-for-4, three strikeouts) so far, but both Gaby Sanchez (3-for-7, two doubles, a home run, and two walks) and Andrew McCutchen (5-for-14, home run) have had success against the Dodgers' ace.

Kershaw is also closing in on a milestone. With 981 strikeouts in 954 innings, he is about to become the 18th Dodger with 1,000 strikeouts in his career. But unless he beats Sandy Koufax and Ramon Martinez's franchise record for strikeouts in a game on Saturday, it will likely take Kershaw a few starts to reach four digits.

Game info

Time: 6:10 p.m. PT

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday