LOS ANGELES -- Nowadays, baseball fans are sophisticated enough to recognize that a pitcher's win-loss record doesn't tell you much.
Clayton Kershaw might be 5-4, but he's still among the front-runners to start next month's All-Star Game for the National League. Early as it is, no one would count him out of the Cy Young mix.
But that doesn't mean it sits well with him -- or with his manager -- that he has a 1.93 ERA and is stuck on five wins. Kershaw wasn't great in Wednesday night's 6-2 loss to the San Diego Padres. By his standards, he was far from it. The Padres have a knack for spoiling good pitches, getting into favorable counts and hitting Kershaw. They managed seven hits, including a Jedd Gyorko home run, and three walks.
Kershaw this season has had to be virtually perfect to get a win. In his five wins, he has given up a total of ... one run. That means he has had to put up a 0.22 ERA to get those wins. The Dodgers have scraped together 2.68 runs per start for him, fourth-worst run support in the league.
Kershaw had a little bit of a snicker in his voice when he said, "We scored less than they did tonight, so I've got to not give up so many runs," and he later elaborated on some of the frustration he's feeling these days when he was asked about his barely-better-than-mediocre record.
"Yeah, for sure it bothers me, because that means the team's not winning," Kershaw said. "I don't know if your question is individually or not, but I don't give two ... I don't care about that at all. I just want to win games. We're not winning games. It's not very fun. I haven't won in a long time, so it's very frustrating."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly isn't ready to call out his offense for a lack of urgency when Kershaw pitches. He sees the ace's lack of results as more a reflection of the other team's starting pitcher and the need to match Kershaw's zeroes.
"The better pitchers, it seems like the other team's guy shows up, too," Mattingly said.
Jason Marquis certainly showed up Wednesday, not allowing a base runner until the fifth inning and cruising into the seventh.
But Marquis is no Kershaw. He's just a guy with two more wins and an ERA that's nearly two runs higher.