Clayton Kershaw's three Cy Young Awards and one MVP in four years put him on a level with Dodgers great Sandy Koufax.
They're about to be linked again.
Kershaw looks to match Koufax's franchise record of six straight 200-strikeout seasons Wednesday night when Los Angeles concludes this three-game set with the Washington Nationals.
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Kershaw (9-6, 2.51 ERA) is just 27 but his individual accolades have already put him in Dodgers' lore. The left-hander has a chance to add to that elite status, as his major league-leading 197 strikeouts have him on the brink of joining Koufax (1961-66) as the only Dodgers to reel off 200 for six years in a row.
Kershaw is 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 10.91 strikeouts per nine innings over his last six starts, a stretch that included a streak of 37 consecutive scoreless innings. That run ended on his first pitch Friday, serving up a leadoff homer before giving up three more runs in six innings of a 5-4 loss in 10 at Pittsburgh.
"It was a tough one," Kershaw said of his shortest outing in almost two months. "I struggled all the way through pretty much ... I just didn't really have good stuff."
He's had plenty at home, going 4-1 with a 0.80 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 45 innings over his last six starts to drop his season ERA there from 3.16 to 1.66.
Kershaw has overpowered the Nationals to the tune of a 0.96 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 46 2-3 innings while winning six straight starts. He fanned a season-high 14 and yielded three hits in eight scoreless innings of a 4-2 win at Washington on July 18.
Yasiel Puig put on a dominant display Tuesday, finishing with a career high-tying five RBIs with a two-run homer and three-run triple in a 5-0 victory that snapped Los Angeles' season-high four-game slide.
The right fielder is 7 for 20 with nine RBIs in five season meetings with the Nationals.
While the Dodgers (63-50) are 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place San Francisco in the NL West, Washington trails the New York Mets by that margin in the East.
The Nationals are hoping Bryce Harper will be available after sitting out Tuesday with a sore left knee suffered while making a sliding catch in Monday's 8-3 victory.
''I banged it pretty good, kind of like a bone bruise,'' Harper said. "So I was trying to be a little bit cautious. I know how I feel and what my body can handle. It's going to take time, and then we'll see where I'm at.''
Harper leads the NL in homers with a career-high 29 and is second with a .333 average. However, he's 1 for 9 with a solo homer and six strikeouts versus Kershaw.
Jordan Zimmermann (8-7, 3.44) takes the mound and has no record despite a 2.51 ERA over his last three starts against the Dodgers since he's been backed by three total runs.
A power outage after four innings kept him from being the pitcher of record against them July 14. The right-hander allowed two runs and three hits before Washington completed a 5-3 victory a day later.
That began Zimmermann's five-start stretch during which he's gone 0-2 with a 4.25 ERA. However, he allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-4 loss to Colorado on Friday.
Zimmermann has allowed Puig to go 2 for 5, but he's held Adrian Gonzalez to 1 for 6 with a homer.
Gonzalez went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Tuesday after going 10 for 21 with two homers and four RBIs in the previous five games against Washington.