Clayton Kershaw pitched a two-hitter and struck out 10 Sunday in the Dodgers’ 8-0 defeat of the Marlins.
It was his second career shutout and complete game, the other coming last Sept. 14 against the Giants.
Manager Don Mattingly decided it was fine to let Kershaw throw 116 pitches even though the game wasn’t in doubt. The Dodgers scored eight times off Ricky Nolasco, handing him his first loss of the season. The 15 hits given up by Nolasco set a new franchise record for the Marlins.
Rafael Furcal went 3-for-5 and hit his first homer for the Dodgers. Jay Gibbons also had three hits, The Dodgers had 17 hits in all, 14 of them singles. Kershaw had two of them himself, knocked in a run and scored twice.
Kershaw is now batting .240 this season, while the league is hitting .218 against him. He fanned 10 for the second time this season and the 10th time in his career. He’s 6-3 with a 2.62 ERA.
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: