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The singular sensation that is the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw

BaseballClayton KershawDon MattinglyLos Angeles DodgersDee GordonWashington NationalsNational League
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had 'just another typical outing' on Tuesday, says Manager Don Mattingly
The Dodgers are 19-4 in games Clayton Kershaw has pitched this season

Yes, Obi-Wan, spoiled are you. Your master he is, and defeat him you cannot.

All right, I apologize for that, but understand people are running out of fresh ways to describe the consistent brilliance of Clayton Kershaw.

“Just use my quotes from his last game,” said Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly after Kershaw’s latest outstanding outing Tuesday.

Kershaw only went another eight strong innings, holding the Nationals to one run on three hits. He only raised his record to 17-3 and lowered his ERA to 1.70, both best numbers in baseball.

“Just another typical outing,” Mattingly said, and he was right.

Kershaw has thrown at least eight innings in 10 of his last 13 starts, and went seven in the other three. He saves bullpens.

“He spoils us, that’s for sure,” Mattingly said.

Fastball in the mid-90s, slider in the high-80s, a death-drop curveball in the 70s, and best of luck.

Have a difficult time in giving a pitcher the MVP? Best get over it. The Dodgers are 19-4 in games he starts and 59-57 in games he doesn’t.

The Dodgers won Tuesday not just behind his pitching, but his hitting and baserunning, however ill-advised the latter might have been.

The game was scoreless in the fifth when he singled. When Dee Gordon did the same, Kershaw saw the ball drop in front of center fielder Bryce Harper and did an awkward straight turn at the bag and ran to third. Harper’s throw was off and Gordon slid into second. Both runners ended up scoring.

“I took a 90-degree angle to third,” Kershaw said. “There was a lot of bad baserunning there. But sometimes it works out.”

Kershaw can hit a little, run a little and absolutely field his position. Mattingly took great joy in Kershaw’s overall approach.

“I just look at him as a baseball player,” he said. “I loved seeing him out on the mound in whatever inning it was, and he’s all dirty. You don’t see many [pitchers] looking like that.”

Nope, precious few. Kershaw is on his way to his third National League Cy Young award in four years.

“It’s fun to be a baseball player,” he said.

Even better when you’re the best at it. Unprovoked and in separate interviews last month, both A.J. Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez marveled at Kershaw’s special success and spoke of how someday they would tell their grandchildren about it.

Before us, something exceptional is happening.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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BaseballClayton KershawDon MattinglyLos Angeles DodgersDee GordonWashington NationalsNational League
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