LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw had a vintage start to his 2023 season, anchoring the Dodgers starting rotation for the season’s first month. For his efforts, the left-hander was named the National League pitcher of the month for April.
Kershaw was 5-1 with a 1.89 ERA in six starts in April, with 41 strikeouts against only five walks. He led the NL in wins, WHIP (0.763), and innings pitched (38), averaging 6⅓ innings per start.
Most pitcher of the month awards
“It just means you’re going out there every fifth day for your team, and making it count,” Kershaw said Saturday. “That’s where it all starts. If the starter goes deep into the game, it sets up your bullpen the way you want it. It keeps them fresh for the next day. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”
It’s the seventh career pitcher of the month award for Kershaw, and his first since May 2016. The left-hander also won the award in July 2011, July 2013, June 2014, July 2014, and July 2015.
On April 18 against the Mets, Kershaw won his 200th career game, only the third Dodgers pitcher to do so, along with Don Sutton and Don Drysdale. Two starts later, Kershaw had another seven-inning, no-run, no-walk, nine-strikeout win to beat St. Louis. In between, he lowered his career WHIP under 1.000 for the first time in over four and a half years.
April was Kershaw’s 22nd career month with a sub-2.00 ERA in at least five starts.
Kershaw is the first Dodger to win pitcher of the month since Walker Buehler in July 2021.
The National League began awarding pitcher of the month honors in 1975, with Dodgers right-hander Don Sutton winning the first two awards. The American League started awarding pitcher of the month in 1979. Kershaw’s seven monthly honors are sixth-most in history, behind Roger Clemens (15 awards), Greg Maddux (10), Randy Johnson (eight), Pedro Martínez (eight), and Johan Santana (eight).
Dodgers outfielder James Outman was named NL rookie of the month for April.