Los Angeles Dodgers Were Supposed to Crumble Without Clayton Kershaw, But the Opposite Has Happened
Baseball sure is a fickle game, isn’t it?
Through his first 16 starts of the 2016 season, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw was creating a whole new meaning to the word “ace”. In just 121 innings of work, the southpaw posted an 11-2 record with a 1.79 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 145 strikeouts and just nine walks allowed.
Whenever Kershaw took the mound, the Dodgers were basically guaranteed a win. That was helpful because it was awfully tough for Los Angeles to come out on top when he wasn’t pitching. Manager Dave Roberts saw his club post a 14-2 record with his ace in control of things, but they were just 27-34 while anxiously waiting for his turn in the rotation to come around again.
After losing his last start on June 26, the Dodgers were just a half game out of a Wild Card spot, but were struggling to find a groove at 41-36, leaving them eight games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants.
The Giants got off to a hot start, it’s an even year and Kershaw had just gone on the DL – all were valid reasons to think the NL West race was over before the calendar even flipped to July. That’s why they play the game, though. LA’s starting rotation hasn’t gotten a whole lot healthier since then, but the entire roster has done nothing but come together as a group and rise to the occasion.