Kershaw earns win, but chances diminish to break Box-Toppers single-season points record

  SPECIAL REPORT

SPECIAL REPORT

Kershaw's 2014 starts

Here are Clayton Kershaw's starts for 2014. BTP/gm indicates how many Box-Toppers points he earned in each game (2.0 for overall Player of the Day, 1.7 for NL Player of the Day, 1.0 for top Player of the Game and 0.0 if he did not earn Player of the Game honors.


Start BTP
/gm
Result
1 Mar 22, 2014 2.0 W
2 May 6, 2014 1.0 W
3 May 11, 2014 0.0 ND
4 May 17, 2014 0.0 L
5 May 23, 2014 2.0 W
6 May 28, 2014 0.0 L
7 Jun 2, 2014 1.7 W
8 Jun 8, 2014 1.0 W
9 Jun 13, 2014 1.0 W
10 Jun 18, 2014 2.0 W*
11 Jun 24, 2014 2.0 W
12 Jun 29, 2014 1.7 W
13 Jul 4, 2014 1.7 W
14 Jul 10, 2014 2.0 W
15 Jul 20, 2014 0.0 ND
16 Jul 26, 2014 2.0 W
17 Jul 31, 2014 1.0 W
18 Aug 5, 2014 0.0 ND
19 Aug 10, 2014 1.0 W
20 Aug 16, 2014 0.0 L
21 Aug 21, 2014 1.7 W
22 Aug 27, 2014 2.0 W
23 Sep 2, 2014 2.0 W
24 Sep 8, 2014 1.0 W
25 Sep 14, 2014 1.7 W
26 Sep 19, 2014 0.0 W
* No-hitter BTP: Box-Toppers points

Clayton Kershaw’s chance to break the single-season Box-Toppers point record took a hit Friday, even though his team won the game and he earned his 20th win of the season.

Most BTP single season

Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers now has the sixth-best single season in Box-Toppers history (dating back to 1995). He has 30.5 Box-Toppers points in 2014. The single-season record of 33.7 was set twice by Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks in 2000 and 2002.

Rank Player Team Pos Year BTP
1 Randy Johnson Dbacks pi sp 2000 33.7
1 Randy Johnson Dbacks pi sp 2002 33.7
3 Pedro Martinez Red Sox pi sp 2000 33.5
4 Randy Johnson Dbacks pi sp 1999 31.5
5 Pedro Martinez Red Sox pi sp 1999 31.4
6 *Clayton Kershaw Dodgers pi sp 2014 30.5
7 Randy Johnson Dbacks pi sp 2001 29.4
8 Pedro Martinez Red Sox pi sp 2002 28.8
9 Curt Schilling Dbacks pi sp 2002 28.4
10 Roger Clemens Blue Jays pi sp 1997 27.4

* Current season
BTP: Box-Toppers points

Kershaw failed to earn Player of the Game honors in the Dodgers’ 14-5 win over the Cubs. While he leads the Majors in Box-Toppers points with 30.5, his chances to break Randy Johnson’s all-time single-season record of 33.7 (set with the Diamondbacks in 2000 and 2002) seem greatly diminished. With likely only one start remaining this season, the most he can earn is 2.0 more Box-Toppers points (for being Player of the Day in his next start), which would give him 32.5 for the season.

There is an outside chance Kershaw could squeeze two more starts into the Dodgers’ final eight games of the season, pitching one of the starts on short rest. If so, Kershaw may still have a chance to pass Johnson’s single-season record, but only if he earns at least National League Player of the Day honors (worth 1.7 Box-Toppers points each) in both starts. 

While Kershaw earned the win—his 20th of the season—it was the first time this season in which he failed to earn at least Player of the Game honors when he earned the win. He pitched five innings and gave up seven hits and three runs (all earned), walked three and struck out nine. His Box-Toppers game score Friday was −2.

Player of the Game was catcher A.J. Ellis, who homered twice and went 2-for-4, scoring three times and driving in four runs. He had the high Box-Toppers game score among Dodgers players of +5. It is the first time this season Ellis has earned Player of the Game honors. Ellis earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point. More on Friday's games.

Kershaw has made 26 starts this season and earned Player of the Game honors in 19 of them—all his previous wins. Of the 19 times he earned Player of the Game, he was NL Player of the Day five times and overall Player of the Day eight times. 

Kershaw’s 30.5 Box-Toppers points ranks sixth among the highest Box-Toppers points recorded in a single season (going back to 1995 when Box-Toppers record keeping began). Only two other players have earned at least 30 Box-Toppers points in a single season—Johnson (who did it three times—in 1999, 2000 and 2002) and Pedro Martinez of the Red Sox (who did it twice—1999 and 2000).