The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their third straight NL West title on Tuesday night.
And they did so in impressive, and satisfying, fashion with a dominant shutout win over their ancient rival, the San Francisco Giants. The 8-0 road victory ensures that, just like the last two times they won the World Series, the San Francisco Giants watch the playoffs from home.
Clayton Kershaw one-hit the defending World Series champions, striking out 13 and mowing down the last 19 batters in a row. Kershaw, who has been the best regular-season pitcher in Major League Baseball in recent years, defeated baseball’s best big-game pitcher. Madison Bumgarner boasted a 3-0 record against Kershaw this season until the masterful performance by the lefty.
Justin Ruggiano and A.J. Ellis aided the effort with back-to-back home runs in the sixth.
The NL’s reigning Cy Young Award winner, who likely sees stablemate Zack Greinke receive that honor after this season, reflected on the victory.
“I don’t know if you can get wiser from failing all the time,” Kershaw told the press after the game. “I know what that feels like. There have been some small successes, obviously, but I don’t know. I’ll let you know when I get there.”
Kershaw improved to 16-7 with a 2.16 ERA. The Dodgers moved to 88-69.
The Dodgers boast the worst record among the National League’s playoff teams. One game behind the NL East-leading New York Mets, the Dodgers play the remaining five regular season games with an aim to overcoming the Amazins.