Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Not Thinking About 2020 NL Cy Young Award
Clayton Kershaw
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

Now in a 13th season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw has not showed any signs of slowing down.

Through seven starts, he’s allowing the fewest hits per nine innings of his career (5.3) and owns the fifth lowest ERA among National League pitchers with at least 40 frames (1.98). For as impressive as those numbers are, Kershaw isn’t yet qualified for the ERA title.

That’s due to him missing his first two starts of the season with back stiffness. Qualifying is important as it would go a long way toward Kershaw’s pursuit of an unprecedented fourth National League Cy Young Award. The left-hander, however, isn’t focused on that fact.

“Not very much,” Kershaw said when asked of how often he thinks about this season’s Cy Young race. “I don’t think I have anywhere near enough innings to even consider that at this point.”

Kershaw’s 41 innings to date fall just short of the required amount necessary to qualify for the ERA title. He can officially change that by logging five innings in Monday’s start against the San Diego Padres — something he has done in six of his seven appearances this year.

With the Dodgers and Padres separated by just 2.5 games in the NL West standings, a strong outing would only boost Kershaw’s chances of a fourth Cy Young Award.’

However, he still figures to face tough competition from the likes of Jacob deGrom, Trevor Bauer, Yu Darvish and Max Fried, all of whom are in the midst of excellent seasons.

“I don’t know who else is in it, obviously deGrom is always in the mix, but I don’t know who else is in there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Kershaw’s Cy Young competition.

“So I guess when it comes down to it, I’ve got to kind of dig a little bit deeper. I just know he has pitched like an ace, so as far as strikeouts versus walks, obviously the surface numbers, but I just don’t know enough, I get so mired in each start, but certainly no surprise that he’s in that conversation.”

Kershaw calls reaching 2,500 strikeout milestone ‘a huge honor’

Earlier this month, Kershaw notched his 2,500th career strikeout against the Arizona Diamondbacks, passing Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson for 38th on the all-time strikeout list.

“That’s cool. It’s obviously a huge honor,” Kershaw said of the feat. “Thankful I’ve been able to be here long enough to do it, and hopefully I can keep going.”

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