Clayton Kershaw was basically perfect, but he had to settle for just a no-hitter.
On Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, the two-time National League Cy Young winner didn’t allow a hit or a walk against the Colorado Rockies in a 8-0 win in front of 46,069 fans. Kershaw (7-2) was denied a perfect game due to an error from shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
Keeping his pitches low, Kershaw only allowed nine ground balls, and struck out a career-high 15 batters. Nolan Ryan is the only pitcher to have thrown more strike outs in a no-hitter.
Indeed, it was one of the most dominant no-hitters ever. Only three balls were hit in the air. At one point the southpaw retired 18 straight batters.
With cameras catching his wife, Ellen, in the stands, Kershaw coolly retired Colorado hitters without throwing many pitches (107). The 26-year-old threw a high volume of off-speed pitches to baffle the Rockies lineup.
“As far as individual games go, this is pretty special,” said Kershaw after the game, and with a uniform drenched in Gatorade courtesy of his congratulatory teammates.
“I just kept trying to throw strikes.”
It was the third consecutive loss for Colorado. On Wednesday, the Rockies had a lineup lacking in punch with Justin Morneau, Carlos Gonzales, Michael Cuddyer, and Charlie Blackmon out of the lineup.
It was the 22nd no-hitter by a Dodgers pitcher. It was also the second no-hitter by the Dodgers this season. Veteran right-hander Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter on May 25 on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies. Hyun-Jin Ryun went seven perfect innings the next night.
"I am so amazed," Kershaw said of his effort. "Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that, so I have Josh to thank."