Scout Hot Sheet Sept. 8-14: Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw hauls in his second Player of the Week award after two key starts against NL West opponents in the past seven days.

It’s tough enough as an everyday position player to earn multiple Player of the Week awards in the same season, but this year’s first repeat winner only played in two games over the past seven days. Those two days, though, were dominant, because Clayton Kershaw doesn’t do it any other way.

The Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander won’s award back on June 22, after throwing his first career no-hitter. While he didn’t toss another no-no this past week, Kershaw led the Major Leagues in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts, going 2-0 with 17 Ks in 16.0 innings of work.

In two outings, Kershaw allowed just three earned runs, and held opposing hitters to a paltry .175 batting average, walking three and scattering 10 hits.

Kershaw dealt losses to two division opponents, going 8.0 innings and allowing just three hits and one earned run with eight strikeouts against the San Diego Padres last Sunday, and then, on Sunday, held back the hot San Francisco Giants, who had won six of their last eight games, keeping pace with the Boys in Blue and staying just two games back for the National League West lead.

Kershaw struck out nine Giants, walking just one and allowing two earned runs at AT&T Park, giving the Dodgers another game of cushion in the division race.

Even more staggering: Kershaw has gone 8-1 over his last 10 games, posting a 1.43 ERA in 82.0 innings, striking out 85 and walking just 14. His victory over the Giants made him the first 19-game winner in the bigs this season, and it’s the second-highest single-season total Kershaw has recorded in his career.

If the season ended today, Kershaw’s 1.70 ERA would be the lowest since Greg Maddux posted a 1.63 mark back in 1995. He’s also been the big league ERA leader each of the past three seasons. If he finishes ahead of the Chicago White Sox’s Chris Sale (1.99), he’ll become the first pitcher ever to lead the Major Leagues in ERA for four straight seasons. The scariest part? His ERA has gone down each of the past three years, from 2.53 in 2012 to 1.83 in 2013 and his current mark of 1.70 this year.

Previous Players of the Week
Sept. 1-7: Cabrera
Aug. 25-31: Holliday
Aug. 18-24: Duda
Aug. 11-17: Dickerson
Aug. 4-10: Hardy
July 28-Aug. 3: Kemp/Gardner
July 21-27: Santana
July 14-20: Trout
June 30-July 6: Werth
June 23-29: Altuve
June 16-22: Kershaw
June 9-15: McCutchen
June 2-8: Beltre
May 26-June 1: Encarnacion
May 19-25: Wainwright
May 5-May 11: Smith
April 28-May 4: Tulowitzki
April 21-27: Abreu
April 14-20: Morneau
April 7-13: J. Upton
March 31-April 6: Stanton

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