It's hard to imagine Clayton Kershaw setting the bar even higher, but in the month of June, he did just that.
After his latest fantastic start, a 6-0 win over the Cardinals on Sunday, it's obvious that his six starts this month equated to his best one ever. Here's a look at just how dominant he was:
6 GS, 6-0, 44 IP, 26 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 61 K, 0.82 ERA, .165 BAA, 28 straight scoreless IP
Filthy, just plain filthy.
I looked back at all of the other months in his career, and there's nothing quite like this. The closest I could find was back in July of 2009. Here's his numbers from that month:
6 GS, 3-0, 38 IP, 21 H, 3 ER, 18 BB, 34 K, 0.71 ERA, .167 BAA, 17 straight scoreless IP
That month was awesome, no doubt, but this June has actually topped it. Two things stand out, and that's the K/BB ratio and consecutive scoreless innings. And to think, his 28 scoreless is actually current, so it can still go way up.
Remember back on May 17 when the Diamondbacks absolutely lit him up? He didn't even escape the second inning and gave up seven runs. Since then, he's only given up seven runs in eight starts. I'd say he made the proper adjustments.
How exactly has he done it? It's been his breaking stuff. In his no-hitter, 14 of his 15 strikeouts were on the benders. Yesterday it was more of the same, as he featured mostly sliders with a few ridiculous curveballs mixed in just for fun. And when in doubt, he still throws mid-90s gas when needed.
I pointed out a few posts ago how Kershaw has a great chance to start this year's All-Star Game. He's got the numbers, the momentum, and the fact that he's never started one before despite two Cy Young Awards. Plus, he'll be on his proper four days' rest, which is something National League manager Mike Matheny might like more than anything.
Kershaw's overall ERA is down to 2.04 with two starts left before the break. Unfortunately, the next one comes in Coors Field, where the Rockies are hitting an insane .326 with 251 runs scored, both far and away tops in baseball. I think they might be a bit fired up after getting humiliated by him, too. Then it's home against the lowly Padres.
At the rate Kershaw's going, about the only thing that can slow him down is the mandatory days off during the break. It gives the rest of the league a chance to breathe, at least.