"Definitely not unbeatable," he said.
Not really a preferred sound bite, not when Gonzalez stopped after three words. So the reporter tried again, asking what pitfalls might await the Dodgers.
"Thinking you're unbeatable," Gonzalez said.
Another three-word answer. Not great TV, but more great baseball, as
The Dodgers are on a 37-8 roll, tying the best 45-game mark in
The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers — with a lineup that featured future Hall of Famers
Mark Ellis played on the 2002
"This [stretch] doesn't compare to that, yet,"
Kershaw is the most premium of talent on this team, the anchor for a collection of stars gathered from far and wide.
The Dodgers do not often score for him, so he gave up one earned run in eight innings — lowering his earned-run average to 1.88, best in the majors — and singled home the Dodgers' first two runs, in the second inning.
"Clayton took care of his own business early," Manager
Gonzalez doubled home two runs. He has driven in 74 runs this season; no teammate has driven in more than 41.
Ellis drove in three runs, one on a double and two on his sixth home run of the season.
That pretty much left matters up to Kershaw, who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He gave up three hits, but catcher A.J. Ellis said Kershaw would get his no-hitter someday.
"I'm looking forward to the day it happens," Ellis said. "It's almost inevitable."
In the meantime, Kershaw (11-7) won for the first time since July 26.
The Dodgers are 13-2 since then, with both losses in Kershaw starts — even though he gave up a total of two runs in those two starts.
"You can't control wins and losses," he said. "That doesn't mean it doesn't feel good to put a W by your name."
Kershaw improved to 49-0 when the Dodgers score at least four runs for him.
"You get four runs, you're supposed to win," he said with a shrug.
Said Mattingly: "Seems like all of his stats are off the chart."
The Dodgers opened a 71/2-game lead in the
Definitely not unbeatable, and all that.
"There's a lot of people in here who understand the opportunity we have," Kershaw said. "You don't get a lot of chances to be in first place this late in the season.
"We're going to try not to take that for granted."