With Clayton Kershaw on the hill, Dodgers fans, executives, and players must've been feeling pretty good about their chances to clinch the National League West last night.
Kershaw has all but locked down the NL Cy Young award, coming into last night's start with a 20-3 record and a 1.80 ERA in 26 starts, winning games on two continents (North America and Australia). And if there was any team that could not hit Kershaw, that would be the Giants, who he has gone 14-5 with a 1.43 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) against over his career.
So, undoubtedly, Kershaw came through in the clutch. He threw eight innings, surrendering eight hits, but allowed the Giants to just one run. He struck out eleven and walked none. Kershaw lowered his season ERA from 1.80 to 1.77 with the dominant outing.
He received the bulk of his run support in the sixth and eighth innings, where the Dodgers put up a pair of four run innings. Leading the charge was Yasiel Puig, who broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth with his 16th home run of the year. Everything else was just insurance for Kershaw. Carl Crawford got two hits in two at bats, driving in two, and scoring three. Juan Uribe also got two hits and drove in three more.
The Dodgers are serious World Series contenders and are the best team in the National League outside of Washington D.C. With a three-headed monster rotation in Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu, the Dodgers are destined to succeed. Their offensive attack, which includes Puig and Crawford, along with Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, is as good as anyone's.
I correctly predicted the Dodgers to win the division at the beginning of the year and predicted them to lose in the National League Division Series. We will see if they can go to the NLCS and beyond.
Congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers for winning the National League West.