Clayton Kershaw added to his career milestones, capping a historic performance of three-hit ball that lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-0 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday evening at Dodgers Stadium.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner picked up his 200th win, pitching seven impressive innings while striking out nine batters on the night. Kershaw (3-1) became just the third pitcher in Dodgers history to reach 200 wins, joining greats such as Don Sutton (233) and Don Drysdale (209).
Los Angeles evened up the three-game series at 1-1 and improved to 9-9 on the season while New York dropped to 11-7, snapping the Mets five-game winning streak.
“The goal is to win. That’s why tonight is really cool,” Kershaw said. “Because it’s a team stat, a win. So, for me to be able to do that 200 times is just a product of being on some great teams.”
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With two runners on in the top of the seventh, Kershaw struck out Tommy Pham to get out of the order while unleashing an emotional shout during a 3-0 advantage.
“Tonight’s performance really kind of epitomized who he is as a competitor,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Just overcoming a three-base error with a team that’s swinging the bats really well and to punch three, to give us that confidence, that momentum going into the bottom of the first inning, that was Clayton. He essentially put us on his back today. … For him to get that 200 at home, I know that’s something he was really excited about.”
“It was just kind of a big moment in the game more than anything,” Kershaw said. “I think that’s where that emotion came from. Obviously, it wasn’t planned or anything.”
J.D. Martinez provided an offensive explosion for the Dodgers with two homers while driving in four runs, tallying four hits total on the night.
Freddie Freeman singled in the bottom of the first and Martinez crushed a 438-foot home run to center field. Martinez hit another homer in the third to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
Freeman brought home Austin Barnes in the bottom of the eighth off a sac fly and Martinez had an RBI single to center to cap a 5-0 win for LA.
The Dodgers ended the night with a champagne toast for their future Hall of Famer in Kershaw, appreciating his greatness.
“We had a few different toasts, just kind of taking a moment to recognize him, which we should,” Roberts said. “That just speaks to the respect that they have for him.”
“I think what is nice for me is to look back at the different groups of guys I got to play with over the years. And maybe it hasn’t ended the way we wanted to in the postseason, but ultimately, winning all those games with those groups is special,” Kershaw said. “And I think this (team) is going to be the same. I think it’s going to be special.”