Clayton Kershaw upbeat after Dodgers’ latest victory over Angels
Clayton Kershaw sounded particularly upbeat Tuesday night after the Dodgers’ 6-4 victory over the Angels.
“Talking with the guys, it seems like this is probably the best pure baseball game I feel like we’ve played,” Kershaw said. “Just as far as doing the little things, moving guys over, sac flies, situational hitting, things like that. Just seemed like it was just so easy to score runs tonight and not necessarily just big hits, moving guys over, doing little things like that. That was awesome to see.”
The Dodgers are 13-2 since Kershaw publicly called on them to play with an increased sense of urgency.
“I don’t know if it has anything to do with that,” Kershaw said. “I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. But we’re playing great and it’s fun to see. Not making too many errors, especially on the mental side of it. Make the errors be physical. You can deal with that. Seeing a lot more of that. Seeing a lot of good baserunning. Seeing a lot of stolen bases.”
With 23 games remaining in the regular season, the Dodgers are 8 1/2 games ahead of the second-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
Of securing the division title, Kershaw said, “We’d like to do it as soon as possible. That’s always the goal.”
However, he added, “Just got to keep the foot on the gas. You can’t really let up, even if we do clinch. We’ve got home-field advantage to fight for. Just keep going until October-whatever, the season ends and then start it all up again.”
By pitching seven innings Tuesday night, Kershaw raised his season total to a major league-leading 201 innings.
“Innings are good,” he said. “I think the one thing I’ll look at is innings. It keeps the whole game going, it helps the bullpen out, it helps the team out for the next day. Innings are the one thing that I try to control. I don’t know if 200 is a benchmark necessarily, but I’ll take it.”
Manager Don Mattingly has talked about carefully monitoring Kershaw’s workload for the remainder of the regular season.
Asked about that, Kershaw said, “No, I don’t really have any thoughts. I’m going to pitch when I get to and hopefully go deep into the game every time and hopefully there’s not too much of argument just because the pitch count’s low enough that it won’t matter.”
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