Heading into their four-game series against the New York Mets the Los Angeles Dodgers figured to send Clayton Kershaw to the mound Thursday, Zack Greinke Friday, and then sort out the rest at some point.
That changed a bit once it became known Thursday afternoon Greinke returned to Los Angeles to be present for the birth of his first child. The development had no impact on Kershaw, who toed the rubber at Citi Field with a streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings.
Facing a Mets lineup that featured four hitters who hold a batting average below .200, Kershaw as you would expect overpowered his opponents. The reigning National League MVP had each of his pitches working at a devastating level as he retired the first 18 batters faced.
Curtis Granderson broke up the perfect game with a leadoff single in the seventh after falling behind in the count 0-2. Kershaw went on to allow two more hits, completed his 11th career complete-game shutout and extended his scoreless streak to 29 innings.
Among Kershaw’s 11 strikeouts on the night was this matchup with Mets starter Bartolo Colon, who swung from his heels, lost his helmet and went down on three pitches to end the sixth inning: