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Clayton Kershaw Ends Regular Season with 1.83 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Clayton Kershaw pitched six innings tonight against the Colorado Rockies. He gave up four hits and struck out eight batters as the Dodgers walloped on the Rockies 11-0. But that's not the story.

Kershaw lowered his earned run average to 1.83.

That ERA is the lowest in the National League since Greg Maddux recorded a 1.63 in 1995 for the Atlanta Braves and the lowest in the Majors since Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 in 2000 with the Boston Red Sox.

"If he's not the best, then you'll really have to sell me on it," manager Don Mattingly said. There's no need to bother. Clayton Kershaw should win the Cy Young Award easily for the second time in three years.

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More facts and figures:

  • Became second LA Dodger pitcher with a sub-2.00 ERA. Sandy Koufax did it three times in 1963, 1964 and 1966.
  • Wins the ERA title three consecutive seasons, last done by Maddux (1993-95).
  • Lead the National League with 232 strikeouts.
  • Pitched a career-high 236 innings.

"All year it's been amazing," Mattingly said. "Maybe one or two that he was a little rough. Other than that it seemed like it was like this every time. If we had given this guy some runs, he might have won 25, 26 games this year."
Kershaw ends the season with a 16-9 record for whatever that statistic is worth.

After he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth inning, the camera panned to him in the dugout eliciting a roar from the sellout crowd of 52,367.

"To get recognized like that is special," Kershaw said. "It shows the fans are appreciating what you're doing. It means a lot whenever that happens."

But Kershaw is not one to rest on his laurels. "It's all about the playoffs," he said. "It's all about Game 1 for me."

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With everything Kershaw has accomplished this season, the fact that he's been consistent has been pretty remarkable. His secret: he ignores it. "It's too hard to think about all of that and continue to pitch," he said. The perfect time to think about it? "I can look back on this in the offseason for a week or two."

Some final notes about the game. This is the Major League leading 22nd shutout for the Dodgers this season, their most since 1988 when they posted 24 shutouts. This was also their largest home shutout since an 11-0 win over the D-Backs on July 7, 2004.