If he hadn’t already, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw locked himself in baseball immortality Wednesday. After taking the first two games against the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers were looking to get their first sweep at home this season.
Kershaw delivered for the Dodgers, throwing the second no-hitter of the season, in an 8-0 win over the Rockies. Kershaw issued zero walks and collected a career-high 15 strikeouts. His attempt for a perfect game ended on an error by Hanley Ramirez that occurred in the seventh inning as Ramirez threw a ball to the right of Adrian Gonzalez.
Kershaw reflected on what was going through his head towards the middle of the game, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
We just started scoring so many runs. I just didn’t want to mess that up. I just kept trying to throw strikes. It was just so much fun, I can’t explain it. You don’t really think about doing something like that. You think about winning a World Series, but as far as individually, this ranks right up there. It’s pretty cool.”
Kershaw’s 15 strikeouts in a no-hitter are the third most all-time by a pitcher. The only pitcher who has struck out more batters in a no-hitter is Nolan Ryan, who had games of 17 and 16 strikeouts during his no-nos.
Fourteen of Kershaw’s 15 strikeouts came on breaking-ball pitches, which is the most since pitch-types were first tracked, beginning in 2009. Dodgers’ catcher A.J. Ellis complimented on Kershaw’s arsenal of pitches:
I told him it’s not fair to have a devastating slider and a devastating curve the same night. But when he does, this is possible. The guys in that lineup give him fits. The way he made them look is a testament to how good he was. I’m just thankful and blessed to be on the receiving end of the best pitcher in baseball.”
There have been 284 no-hitters in the history of baseball and the Dodgers have the most of any team with 22. With the win, Kershaw now sits 7-2 on the season with an ERA of 2.52 in 10 starts.
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