Clayton Kershaw pitched the Dodgers past the Giants on Sunday afternoon, helping extend his club’s NL West lead to three games. The lefty went eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out nine. Kershaw now owns a 19-3 record with a 1.70 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and a 219/28 K/BB ratio.
Kershaw is a lock for the National League Cy Young award, but teammate and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez thinks Kershaw is the obvious choice for NL MVP as well:
Kershaw is the major league leader in Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which hasn’t yet been updated for today’s action. Kershaw’s 7.7 WAR narrowly edges Mike Trout’s 7.6 and is well ahead of Jason Heyward’s 6.5, who has the second-highest WAR in the National League. Per FanGraphs (which also won’t update until the morning), Kershaw’s 6.3 WAR edges out Jonathan Lucroy’s 6.0.
What we’re witnessing from Kershaw is the best starting pitching season since Roger Clemens in 2005 and Pedro Martinez circa 1997-2003.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.