Kershaw Dominates ... Completely

The seemingly unending soap opera of Frank and Jamie McCourt has (again) stolen the stage from the Dodgers on the field as Commissioner Bud Selig denied the FOX buyout and the whining owner vowed legal action. The spotlight should have been on Clayton Kershaw's dominance of a powerful Detroit team and the ensuing 4-0 win, but that just didn't happen.

But back to the real action. Think pitchers don't know where they rank among their peers?

Just listen to Clayton Kershaw talk about complete games after his two-hit complete-game shutout Monday. "(Justin) Verlander has four, (Roy) Halladay's thrown five, (James) Shields and a lot of guys are doing it," Kershaw said. Actually, it's Shields with five, Halladay with four, and Jered Weaver with three. But you get the point.

"The key is keep your pitch count down," Kershaw continued. "If you give up a run every now and then, that's OK. Fortunately for me, it worked out for me that I was able to stay in the game. They didn't need to pinch hit or anything. That was a bonus for sure."

The way Kershaw is hitting, manager Don Mattingly is bound to think twice about lifting his ace anyway. Kershaw singled home two runs in the eighth inning, giving himself plenty of cushion in the Dodgers' 4-0 win over the Tigers.

Back on April 21, Kershaw took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning against the Braves, and his pitch count was at 99. He got the first two outs in the ninth, then two singles, a walk, and a two-run single spoiled his win and complete game.

"It seemed like he hadn't been there before," Mattingly said. "Tonight, it was like he'd been there and learned from that other game. He stayed calm. He kept making pitches and using everything. He pitched ahead of the count. When you've got four pitches and can throw them all for strikes, on both sides of the plate, that makes you a handful."

Technically, Kershaw had "been there" in the ninth before that Braves game. He went the distance last September in shutting out the Giants in San Francisco. He now has three complete-game shutouts, including a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and one walk against the Marlins on May 29.

On this night, Kershaw closed out the game in style, whiffing the side -- all swinging.

Kershaw came into Monday's game with a chance at making the All-Star Game but was by no means a lock.

Now, with seven wins, he's two behind the league leaders. His ERA dropped to 3.01, which is 12th best in the league. His 117 strikeouts, including 11 more Monday, are the most in either league. His 107 2/3 innings are second to Halladay's 112 1/3.

Kershaw is fourth in opponents' batting average, fifth in on-base percentage, and second in slugging percentage.

Oh yeah, and don't forget his offense. He leads all pitchers with 10 hits and is batting .294 on the season.

NOTES, QUOTES
--CF Matt Kemp pulled ahead of teammate Andre Ethier in voting for the All-Star Game. Kemp is now fourth among outfielders and less than 400,000 votes from catching Matt Holliday for the final starting spot in the National League. Kemp stole his 18th base of the season in the eighth, leaving him one shy of last year's total of 19. Kemp is 18-of-21 stealing bases, and that 85.7 percent is dramatically better than last year's 55.9 percent rate.

--INF Juan Uribe homered in the first inning, his first home run in 31 games, going back to April 29 against Clayton Richard of the Padres. Uribe went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .213 this year.

--C Dioner Navarro delivered an RBI double in the sixth inning for a 2-0 lead. A day earlier, reporters were asking manager Don Mattingly how much longer he can stick with Navarro and a batting average that was .156 going into Sunday's game. Navarro's homer was the only run in Sunday's 1-0 win.

--RHP Jonathan Broxton was originally scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Monday for Triple-A Albuquerque, but he couldn't arrive in time for a day game. Instead, it was pushed back to Tuesday.

--Third base oach Tim Wallach is away from the team after the passing of his father over the weekend. Triple-A manager Lorenzo Bundy takes over Wallach's duties coaching third base temporarily. Isotopes hitting coach John Valentin takes over managing the Albuquerque team.

BY THE NUMBERS: .817
-- Slugging percentage for Matt Kemp this month. It was at .860 entering Monday's game, and he just missed a home run in the first inning that would have increased that total. The .860 before the game was the fourth-highest total for a Dodgers player in a month (minimum 60 plate appearances). Ron Cey slugged .890 in April 1977, Wally Moon slugged .883 in April 1961 and Pedro Guerrero slugged .860 in June 1985.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"We need to give (the fans) something to cheer about. Obviously to this point we haven't given them a whole lot to cheer about. A reason to show up. We've got to give them a reason to show up and be proud to be Dodger fans." -- Manager Don Mattingly, on the message to fans, in light of the latest off-field news that commissioner Bud Selig rejected a proposed television deal between the Dodgers and Fox. Without the infusion of cash from that contract, owner Frank McCourt is unlikely to meet the June 30 payroll, and baseball will seize control of the team.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 MEDICAL WATCH:
--C Rod Barajas (sprained right ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list June 19.
--3B Casey Blake (pinched nerve in neck) did not start June 11-17, but he pinch-hit five times. He was back in the starting lineup June 18. --SS Rafael Furcal (strained left oblique muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list June 4.
--RHP Jon Garland (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 2.
--RHP Vicente Padilla (right radial nerve irritation) went on the 15-day disabled list May 14. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on May 29, but was shut down in early June due to a neck ailment. He underwent neck surgery June 16, and he will likely miss the rest of the season.
--LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety disorder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 10. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on June 9, and he moved his rehab to Class AAA Albuquerque on June 15. He was activated June 19.
--RHP Jonathan Broxton (bone bruise on right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4. He threw a bullpen session June 7. He will make rehab appearances on June 20 and 22 for Class AAA Albuquerque, then get re-evaluated. The Dodgers hope he'll return by July 1.

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