"Watching him doing that, man, I don't know what to think. I wasn't there when Sandy Koufax was there, but to see him break all these records … he's the best, man, the best on the planet."
Kershaw put his name up there above Koufax with his fifth consecutive start of at least 10 strikeouts and no more than one walk, an MLB record. The fifth consecutive start with at least 10 strikeouts is also a franchise record.
"He's a beast," manager Dave Roberts said of Kershaw. "He's just completely dominant and I don't think there's enough adjectives to describe what he does to our ballclub. We needed that to split the series. It was a big win for us.
Kershaw had a five-run lead by the second inning, three runs on Grandal's first-inning home run, the final run on Chase Utley's solo shot, both off Mets starter Bartolo Colon. In Kershaw's 250th career start, he ran his incredible record to 81-0 when the Dodgers score at least four runs while he's still in the game.
"If we don't have enough incentive to get four runs when he pitches, there you have it," said Roberts. "It's just a credit to him. When you need a shutout and to save your bullpen, he does that. If you give him a lead, he has that way that you know he smells the finish line and smells blood."
Kershaw is 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA after his second shutout of the season and 14th of his career. This was his third consecutive win following a Dodgers loss. He's 7-0 in the regular season against the Mets and 119-57 overall in his career.
In his last five starts, he has 56 strikeouts and two walks, including one in this game, and talked just as much about not walking batters as he did striking them out.
"Walking guys is how you get in trouble," Kershaw said. "I'd rather them string hits and make them swing bats to beat me, that's always my mentality. You want them to [have to] beat you. I attack them, fortunately I feel my mechanics have been pretty solid the whole season and I've been able to repeat pitches consistently."
Throwing a better curveball than he has recently, Kershaw said he doesn't do anything differently when pitching with a lead.
"It doesn't change anything," he said. "It's nice though, I'll take it. But it doesn't change anything."
Ken Gurnick Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.