The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw furthered his Cy Young case on Sunday by allowing two runs over 7 1/3 innings and beating the Padres in his final start of the year.
Kershaw tied Ian Kennedy, who made his last start Saturday, for the NL lead with 21 wins.
Justin Verlander has 24 wins in the AL, so this is the first year since 2005 that at least three starters have won 21 games.
Already the NL leader in ERA and strikeouts, Kershaw virtually clinched the pitching Triple Crown today. He ends the year with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts. Roy Halladay also started today and pitched six scoreless innings, lowering his ERA from 2.41 to 2.35. Cliff Lee, who has a 2.38 ERA going into his start against the Braves on Monday, would have to pitch at least 10 2/3 scoreless innings or strike out at least 17 batters to deny Kershaw titles in either category. While a 17-strikeout game for Lee wouldn’t be an impossible under normal circumstances, there’s no way he’s getting there while on a pitch count in his final start before the NLDS.
That pitching Triple Crown figures to notch Kershaw the Cy Young Award, whether it’s truly deserved or not. There are strong cases for Halladay and Lee as well, especially since both pitch in a better ballpark for hitters, but even after digging into the deeper stats, Kershaw still fares quite well.
As first reported by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rockies have decided to bring back manager Walt Weiss for the 2016 season — the final year of a three-year deal he signed after his debut season in 2013.
Weiss carries a rough 208-278 managerial record through his first three years at the helm for Colorado, but it’s not like the rosters he’s been managing have been built to win.
The biggest need for the Rockies this winter is pitching — both starters and relievers — and general manager Jeff Bridich is also being retained for the 2016 season to try to find some.
Colorado’s starters and relievers combined for a 5.04 ERA in 2015, worst in MLB.
Colorado’s offense produced 737 runs, ranking fifth in the major leagues.
Houston got on the board first in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium when Colby Rasmus led off the top of the second inning with a solo home run to deep right field against Masahiro Tanaka.
It was the first career postseason homer for Rasmus, whose only other postseason experience came in 2009 with St. Louis. He slugged 25 home runs during the 2015 regular season and will be looking to cash in as a free agent whenever the Astros’ postseason runs come to an end. A big October (and perhaps early November) would obviously help that.
Tanaka retired the next two batters after the Rasmus bomb, but he gave up a single and two walks to load the bases before eventually inducing an inning-ending fielder’s choice groundout from Jose Altuve. Tanaka’s shakiness extended into the third and fourth innings, with Carlos Gomez adding a solo shot to left field in the top of the fourth.
Houston leads 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Astros starter Dallas Keuchel has looked sharp on three days of rest, tallying five strikeouts through four scoreless frames.