Nobody knows Clayton Kershaw, the pitcher, better than Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. He is the only pitching coach Kershaw has had in the majors. Honeycutt has been there from Kershaw’s electric start in 2008, through his on-top-of-the-world dash through the middle of the decade, and he is there now, as Kershaw masters the next step of a Hall of Fame career.

They’re on Year 12 together. Kershaw’s success this season, after a velocity dip, chronic back trouble and an ominous shoulder injury in spring training, has not floored Honeycutt. Yes, it looks different, and Kershaw has to make adjustments to counter the mileage on his body, but his stellar season, which continued Wednesday with seven scoreless innings in the Dodgers’ 9-1 win over the Miami Marlins, is something Honeycutt just expects.

“I just see a gentleman that just continues to be impressive with whatever he has,” Honeycutt said before the game. “He’s always going to be a battler. He’s a warrior. I mean, he goes out there and keeps you in the game when he doesn’t have his good stuff. If he has his stuff, it’s pretty much lights out.”

Kershaw had his stuff at Marlins Park and the Marlins (44-74) had no answers. The left-hander began the game with seven consecutive strikeouts and had eight through three perfect innings. He retired the first 14 hitters and extended his streak of starts with at least six innings to 21 to begin the season.

He finished with 10 strikeouts without walking a batter. It was the eighth time he’s recorded at least seven scoreless innings with double-digit strikeouts and no walks. That’s tied for second in major league history with Pedro Martinez. Randy Johnson tops the list with 12. Kershaw’s earned-run average is a tidy 2.63.

Kershaw was given plenty of support from an offense that preyed on the Marlins’ pitching staff for the second straight night. After tallying 15 runs, six home runs, and 13 extra-base hits Tuesday, the Dodgers (81-41) hit four home runs Wednesday, marking the first time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles that they’ve compiled at least four home runs in three consecutive games. Rookie Edwin Rios supplied two of the homers – the first two of his career – as he went 3 for 4 with a walk while adding a nimble over-the-shoulder catch at first base in the sixth inning.

The Dodgers initially announced Kershaw was scheduled to …read more

Source:: Daily Times


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Clayton Kershaw strikes out first seven in another Dodgers romp over Marlins

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