Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Joined Elite Group With Win Over Nationals

In a matchup between two future Hall of Famers, Clayton Kershaw outdueled Max Scherzer to help the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-0 win and series sweep of the Washington Nationals.

Kershaw scattered five hits and collected six strikeouts over six scoreless innings. With the win he improved to a career 177-77, joining an elite group of pitchers who are at least 100 games over .500 since the divisional era began in 1969.

Kershaw joined the likes of Pedro Martinez (219-100), Roger Clemens (354-184), Randy Johnson (303-166), Jim Palmer (245-137), Mike Mussina (270-153), Andy Pettitte (256-153), Greg Maddux (355-227) and Tom Glavine (305-203).

“Just a product of being on great teams,” he said when being informed of the achievement. “That’s really all it is. I’ve been very fortunate to be on Dodger teams that make the playoffs year after year. We always win games, so that’s what I attribute it to.”

As for going toe to toe with Scherzer, Kershaw predictably attempted to focus like he normally would in any other outing. “Max has obviously had an unbelievable run with what he’s done over there in Washington. I have a ton of respect for him and everything he’s done in this game,” Kershaw said.

“You try not to attack it any differently. You always try to put zeros up on the board. After we got that early run there, you try and make it stand up as best you can, knowing that Max probably isn’t going to give up many himself. Fortunate today that it worked out.”

Sunday’s performance was a second straight in which Kershaw has pitched to his lofty standard. The outings have further eased external concerns that rose after a rough showing on Opening Day.

“I just saw that the stuff was good. I thought the curveball, second pitch of the game, was really good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I thought the fastball life, using it to all quadrants, and the slider was good. With Clayton, when the slider is good and he’s getting swing and miss, you know he’s going to pitch well that day. That’s what he had today.”

Kershaw humbled by Dodgers World Series ring ceremony

Two days before Kershaw was pitted against Scherzer, he and the Dodgers had a final celebration for their 2020 World Series win with a ring ceremony at Dodger Stadium.

“Kind of a culmination of everything from last year. Getting to see the ring for the first time, put that on and celebrate with your teammates, celebrate with fans back here at Dodger Stadium,” Kershaw said.

“It was emotional for me to get to be a part of. Just a lot of gratitude on my end. It was a special day.”

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