Kershaw thinks 100th win is 'kind of cool'
Dodgers ace feels obligated to help club win
LOS ANGELES -- Add this to Clayton Kershaw's ever-growing list of pitching accomplishments: 100 career wins.
Kershaw reached the milestone Friday with a quality start that helped lead the Dodgers to a 6-4 win over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. The left-hander racked up 10 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings and was charged with three runs on four hits to win his seventh consecutive decision against Colorado.
While Friday's victory was notable in the context of Kershaw's brilliant young career, it was also his first win in a stretch of five starts.
"I don't know if it means a whole lot, but it's something to celebrate I guess," Kershaw said of the feat. "Hopefully just getting started. I guess it's kind of cool."
Some of Kershaw's teammates gave him grief for not reaching the century mark earlier this season, but Kershaw said it wasn't bothering him. Regardless, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen believed a burden had been lifted by Friday's result.
"I just feel relief for him to get over that," Jansen said.
Kershaw improved to 2-2 on the season, dropped his ERA to 4.24 through eight starts, and said he felt like he took a step in the right direction.
"Stuff was just a little bit better today overall," Kershaw said. "But I need to start making it through seven, eight innings."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the same thing about Kershaw that he has for several starts, "he's throwing the ball good."
Mattingly was more insightful when asked about the significance of Kershaw becoming the second-youngest active pitcher (27 years, 57 days) to reach 100 career wins.
"To me, usually guys that get a lot of wins are pitching late in the games and keeping themselves in every game," Mattingly said. "You have to have some luck and have to have some offense, but the guys who are getting wins are staying in games. They're giving themselves a chance to get wins. So to get to 100 at this age means he's been giving himself a lot of chances to get wins, however you want to slice it up or however you want to value it."
Kershaw said he's "neutral" when it comes to placing a value on pitcher's records. He's now 100-51 since debuting with the Dodgers in 2008.
But in a telling moment when asked if he was tired of the narrative that he wasn't pitching like a reigning MVP, Kershaw did provide some insight into what drives him to succeed as the year progresses.
"I think the only thing is, I feel an obligation to this team and organization and everybody to pitch well," Kershaw said. "I feel like they put a pretty huge investment in me to do that. That's really the only thing I feel. I feel somewhat bad at times, but I'm trying. Hopefully tonight gets us back going."