In a second consecutive start, Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw struck out at least 13 batters and walked none. He ended the first half by striking out 13 Phillies while issuing no walks in a shutout, which was a few days ahead of his late-notice addition to the National League All-Star roster.
Kershaw opened up the second half by striking out 14 Nationals over eight shutout innings on Saturday. And again, he did not issue a walk. He’s the first to strike out 13 and walk none in consecutive starts since Dwight Gooden in 1984, and the two are the only ones to have accomplished the feat since 1914, per FOX Sports. As ESPN Stats & Info notes, Kershaw induced 30 swings and misses on Saturday against the Nationals, the most by any pitcher in the last seven seasons.
Kershaw now has a 2.68 ERA with a 174/27 K/BB ratio in 131 innings. Despite owning a 4.32 ERA in late May, the reigning NL MVP is firmly in the Cy Young conversation. If he were to win, it would be his third in as many seasons.
Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger was named the 2019 National League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Associated of America. He received 19 of 30 first-place votes.
Bellinger, 24, was the NL Rookie of the Year two years ago and is now the MVP. In 2019, he hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 115 RBI, 121 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. He helped the Dodgers win a franchise record 106 games, though they were stopped short in the NLDS by the eventual world champion Nationals.
Bellinger is the first Dodger to win the award since Clayton Kershaw in 2014. He also joins Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey, Sandy Koufax, and Maury Wills to win the award since the team moved to Los Angeles. Bellinger is overall the 13th Dodger to be named the MVP. He is the 18th NL player to win both a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP award.
Christian Yelich finished in second place and Anthony Rendon finished in third place. They were followed by Ketel Marte, Ronald Acuña Jr., Nolan Arenado, and Pete Alonso. Also receiving votes were Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, Jacob deGrom, Josh Donaldson, Trevor Story, Jack Flaherty, J.T. Realmuto, Yasmani Grandal, Max Muncy, Stephen Strasburg, Eugenio Suárez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong, Kevin Pillar, and Max Scherzer.