While not a masterpiece, Clayton Kershaw pitched another great game topping the Giants 2-1, getting that much closer to a Cy Young award. Yesterday’s performance brought the Giants eight game winning streak to a halt and made Kershaw the first Dodger to win 20 games since Ramon Martinez accomplished the feat in 1990. It is much harder to win 20 games now than it was forty or fifty years ago. In fact, since 1978, only 28 men have won 20, not including this year. See http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/last-20-game-winners-for-all-30-teams/ for the list.
Today’s pitchers have to work with limitations including pitch counts and five man rotations making for fewer chances to reach the elusive 20 win goal.
This Day in Dodgers History
September 21, 1961 – In a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the tenth inning at Candlestick Park, LA’s Pete Mikkelsen quickly retires the first two Giants batters, but then is ordered to intentionally walk Willie McCovey, who is 4-for-4 in the game. The Dodger reliever proceeds to issue free passes to the next two hitters unintentionally, loading the bases, and then loses the game when shortstop Maury Wills boots pinch-hitter Jim Davenport’s ground ball.
How many times have we heard Vin Scully say that once a pitcher issues an intentional walk, he will struggle to throw strikes?