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Clayton Kershaw No Longer in Koufax’s Shadow

Clayton Kershaw has now emerged from the shadow of pitching great Sandy Koufax.

The young southpaw has won three straight ERA titles, two out of the past three Cy Young awards and has a career ERA that is better than any pitcher with a minimum of 1,000 innings since 1920.

No shadow in baseball is big enough to cover up what the young Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher is accomplishing.

Kershaw might not ever have 27 complete games in a season like Koufax did his last two years, but he certainly would like to try.

The Dodger left-hander knew his bullpen was tired on Thursday and that his two best  relievers J.P. Howell and Kenley Jansen were not available.

So, Kershaw went out and gave the bullpen a night off by throwing his fifth complete game of the season.

His manager Don Mattingly said Kershaw would like to throw a complete game each time out.

Kershaw was able to get through the last inning of the 2-1 Dodgers win over Atlanta, but not without a few anxious moments.

Atlanta scored in the ninth on an RBI single in the infield that umpires took over two and a half minutes to review before deciding Justin Upton was safe.

After the delay, Kershaw forced a ground out by Evan Gattis to get the win. Kershaw now has thrown a complete game in 3 of his past 4 starts.

Kershaw has some of the most rigorous workouts of any player on the Dodgers, which has helped him pitch complete games and stay healthy.

Kershaw says it is important to be the same from inning one to inning nine and the same from April through October.

The lefty believes if you are not the same all nine innings or from April to October than there needs to be changes made to improve your game and most of all your stamina.

The Dodgers did not make any big trades at the trade deadline but still have one of baseball’s best starting rotations anchored by their superstar southpaw Kershaw.

One reason the Dodgers did not feel compelled to make a big trade is because of Kershaw. He is more talented than both Jon Lester and David Price who were the headline pitchers involved in trades on the July 31 deadline.

Some could even say that Zack Greinke is better at this point then both Price and Lester.

With his 10th consecutive win, Kershaw is now 13-2 with an ERA of 1.71 that leads the majors. Kershaw said being compared to both Lester and Price was great compliment.

The Dodgers have now opened up a lead in the National League West of 3 ½ games over the San Francisco Giants after sweeping the Braves. The Dodgers have won 6 straight and 8 of their past 10 overall. Los Angeles now has the best record in the National League and seems to be slowly pulling away from the rest of the NL West.

Kershaw and the rest of the Dodgers pitching staff have had a lot to do with that.

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