Clayton Kershaw picked up his 20th win of the season this afternoon, reaching that (once-) magic number for the second time in his career and first time since he went 21-5 in 2011.
He wasn’t sharp against the Cubs, allowing three runs while lasting only five innings, but the Dodgers staked him to a 6-0 lead before he even took the mound and scored a total of 14 runs.
Despite spending all of April on the disabled list Kershaw is MLB’s first 20-game winner this season and his ERA now stands at 1.80. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 218-to-31 in 190.1 innings.
Los Angeles is 22-4 with Kershaw on the mound this season and the Dodgers are now three full games ahead of the Giants in the NL West, pending tonight’s action.
Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler made a critical catch in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Nationals. With the Cardinals leading 5-1, the Nationals were threatening with runners on first and second with one out against lefty Andrew Miller. Asdrúbal Cabrera worked a full count before serving a 3-2 outside slider to right field. The ball had home run distance, but Fowler tracked it, leaped at the wall, and robbed Cabrera of a three-run home run.
Carlos Martínez relieved Miller, getting Victor Robles to ground out to end the inning. The Cardinals would go on to win 5-1.
The game had playoff implications on both sides. The win bumped the Cardinals’ hold on first place in the NL Central to 2.5 games while the Nationals’ lead over the Cubs and Brewers for the first NL Wild Card shrinks to just one game.
The Nationals will close out their final road trip of the regular season with three games against the Marlins before hosting the Phillies for five games and the Indians for three. The Cardinals, meanwhile, begin their final road trip of the regular season with four against the Cubs followed by three against the Diamondbacks before closing out the season at home with three games versus the Cubs.