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Can Clayton Kershaw Win the Cy Young and MVP

On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to defeat the San Diego Padres 2-1 to make Clayton Kershaw a 15-game winner.

The win was of even greater importance for the club than for just Kershaw. The Dodgers starting rotation, with the exception of Kershaw is in shambles.

Los Angeles was in jeopardy of Kershaw pitching another dominating 8 innings allowing a single run and still losing.

However, Justin Turner changed all that with one swing of the bat. Turner’s two-run shot lifted the Dodgers to victory to keep them 3 games in front of the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers must find a way to win now without having Kershaw on the mound. Three starters are down with varying injuries.

Kershaw said his feeling entering the game on Thursday was the same as any other game he pitches, without any additional pressure to win.

With the Giants starting to play better, the Dodgers know they just need wins, regardless of who is on the mound, the team just needs to win.

Kershaw’s win on Thursday pushed him into the race for the MVP. Although he has played in only 21 of Los Angeles’ 129 games a case for him being MVP grows weekly.

Many on the Dodgers and around the league feel that when Kershaw has his hands on the ball he is the best player on the field regardless of who the opponent is.

The southpaw however does not seem to be consumed by winning the Cy Young award much less the MVP award.

He is just focused on his next game.

Don Mattingly the Dodgers manager said he did not think he has ever seen a player that is so focused and driven from one start to another. As soon as one game is over, Kershaw is totally focused on is upcoming opponent and what he needs to do physically and mentally to win.

The lefthander is on such a roll that all of his starts blend into one as each one is as brilliant as the previous.

On Thursday, he did not allow a hit until the sixth inning. In eight innings pitched, he allowed just three hits while striking out 10.

He entered the game with an ERA of 1.86 and lowered it to 1.82, which is not an easy task.

All of his work looked for naught, until Carl Crawford reached on an infield hit starting the eighth.

Then Turner worked the count to his favor and expected a slider. He got one that he jumped all over driving it over the fence in left.

That saved the day for Los Angeles and pushed Kershaw further into the lead for the Cy Young award and into the conversation about the National League MVP.

Of course, the Cy Young will be his if he continues this pace, but the MVP likely will depend on how the Dodgers do down the stretch and if they can hold onto first in the NL West.

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