Entering Thursday’s start, Clayton Kershaw hadn’t allowed a run in 36 consecutive innings. The Dodger ace was still 23 innings away from tying Orel Hershiser’s all-time record, but appeared destined to inch closer against the San Diego Padres, statistically the worst offensive team in baseball.
The Dodgers provided Kershaw with a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, which as of late has been more than enough run support for the left-hander. Kershaw breezed through the first five innings on 61 pitches, allowing just one hit — a single in the third inning.
Kershaw’s scoreless streak reached 41 innings before it came to a sinking halt. Chase Headley hit a two-out solo home run on a slider that didn’t quite do hundreds, if not thousands of other Kesrhaw sliders have.
Headley’s home run didn’t have much on it and just cleared the wall in left-center field. With the game tied, Kershaw turned his attention to the next batter, Carlos Quentin, who struck out — resulting in Kershaw striking out the side.
I don’t really care about an innings streak,” he said. “We’re not supposed to give up runs. That’s our job.”
The Dodgers re-gained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, which Kershaw this time protected in his complete-game win. Despite eclipsing 100 pitches before the start of the ninth, manager Don Mattingly didn’t have intentions of removing the ace from the game:
It’s hard to take him out,” manager Don Mattingly said. “There’s nobody out there [in the bullpen] who’s better than him, so…”
Kershaw is now 8-0 in his last eight starts with a 0.74 ERA. Opponents have hit just .146 in the stretch and Kershaw has amassed 80 strikeouts, while only issuing five walks.
The night of work also qualified the left-hander to place on the overall ERA list, which he now leads all of baseball with a 1.78 ERA.
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter