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.
Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.
The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”
Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.
Now, however, Kopech has opted out.