The Los Angeles Dodgers are now three days and one game removed from Clayton Kershaw’s historic performance Wednesday, but talk as to whether or not it was the best no-hitter performance continues.
For Kershaw, it was his first career no-hitter and it was the 22nd in Dodgers franchise history. Perhaps more impressively, the left-hander became the first pitcher in MLB history to record at least 15 strikeouts without issuing a walk as part of the no-no.
Much of the recognition and admiration for Kershaw’s near-flawless outing was he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, which he lost only because of a Hanley Ramirez error.
Despite the praise being heaped on Kershaw, he continues to deflect attention and assumes a modest view of his accomplishment, via ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
I always think about it as far as circumstances,” Kershaw said Friday. “So, a game in June always matters, but when you think about Don Larsen pitching a perfect game in the World Series and stuff like that, I think the ramifications of the game are more important than a June game necessarily.”
Manager Don Mattingly, who has witnessed two no-hitters as a player, wouldn’t cement Kershaw’s no-hitter as the best, but didn’t dismiss what his ace accomplished:
The fact he strikes out 15 and doesn’t walk anybody and does it in 107 pitches tells you how dominant he was. He had the whole package working. Is it the best of all time? Obviously, a lot more people know all the games better than me, but it was obviously pretty good.”
The win not only was a record-setting moment for Kershaw and the Dodgers, but it also got them within four games of the San Francisco Giants. Including Friday, the Giants have lost six straight and the Dodgers were three outs away from narrowing the gap to three games.
Kershaw’s next start is Tuesday when the Dodgers are in Kansas City for a three-game set with the Royals.
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