The Los Angeles Dodgers had a chance to win the National League West title on Wednesday night, and they did so with Clayton Kershaw heading to the mound.
The presumed National League Cy Young winner dominated the San Francisco Giants with eight terrific innings. He buzzed through the Giants’ lineup allowing just one run on eight hits with 11 strikeouts in his final start of the regular season. The Dodgers cruised to a 9-1 win and a division crown.
Kershaw didn’t just dazzle on the mound, though. The pitcher’s efforts were part of an all-around effort that began in the third inning with runners on second and third with no outs. That’s when San Fran pitcher Tim Hudson hit a sharp grounder back to Kershaw. The 2011 Gold Glove winner made a whirling behind-the-back glove save before tossing over to first for the out.
Then, in the fifth inning, Kershaw came to the plate with a runner on third, two outs and the Dodgers trailing by a run. Kershaw lined an offering from Hudson up the middle for an RBI single, his third run batted in of the season.
Los Angeles infielder Dee Gordon summed up Kershaw’s performance both on Wednesday and all season in just three words.
“Awesome, competitor, leader,” Gordon said, according to The Associated Press.
Dodgers fans also had a pretty good description for Kershaw while chanting “MVP” on multiple times during the lefty’s latest gem.