LA Dodgers Clayton Kershaw named NL Pitcher of the Month for June

July 2, 2014

After a rough, injury-filled start to the season, there now can be no question that Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is back and better than ever, as the lefty has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for June.

Kershaw, who threw his first career no-hitter on June 18, was tops among qualifying Major League pitchers with a 0.82 ERA (4 ER/44.0 IP) last month, while pacing the big leagues with six wins (6-0) and 61 strikeouts. He tied Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels for the most innings pitched during the month and held opposing hitters to a .161 batting average, which was good for second in the N.L. behind Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (.157).

Kershaw had two complete games in his six outings last month and did not allow a single run in his last three starts — a span of 24 scoreless innings.

More importantly, Kershaw's success has been instrumental in allowing the Dodgers to cut into the Giants significant lead in the NL West, where they currently trail by only 1/2 a game.

On Sunday, Kershaw capped his stellar month with a 13-strikeout performance in a 6-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner scattered five hits and two walks across 7.0 shutout innings en route to his ninth win of the season. He threw 109 pitches (74 strikes) in the victory, his highest pitch total in any game this year.

On June 24, Kershaw dazzled in the follow up to his no-hitter, tossing 8.0 scoreless innings while fanning eight Kansas City Royals on the way to a 2-0 road win.

On June 18, the Texas native joined teammate Josh Beckett as the second member of the Dodgers rotation to throw a no-hitter this season, blanking the visiting Colorado Rockies while fanning 15 in an 8-0 win. The only blemish on his otherwise perfect outing reached base by way of an error in the seventh inning. According to Elias, his 15 strikeouts were the most in Major League history by a pitcher that did not allow a runner by way of hit, walk, or hit by pitch. The previous record of 14 strikeouts in such a game was shared by Brooklyn’s Nap Rucker (September 5, 1908), Sandy Koufax (September 9, 1965) of the Dodgers, and San Francisco’s Matt Cain (June 13, 2012). The no-hitter was the 22nd in franchise history, the most by a single club in the Major Leagues.

Other pitchers receiving votes included Arrieta (4-0, 0.92 ERA, 48 SO, 34.1 IP) and rookie right-hander Jesse Hahn (4-1, 1.95 ERA, 36 SO, 27.2 IP).

By Staff of and news services

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