Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitched a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies at Dodgers Stadium last night, the second no-hitter of the season after teammate Josh Beckett blanked the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25th. According to Bill James’ GameScore, it was the second best-pitched game in MLB history, its 102 mark only three points behind Kerry Wood’s 20 K effort against the 1998 Houston Astros. Kershaw needed only 107 pitches (79 for strikes) to complete the second-best performance of all time.
Kershaw struck out fifteen Rockies in his no-hit bid, and was one Hanley Ramirez throwing error shy of a perfect game. The error came in the seventh inning on a chopping ground ball that Ramirez, who had recently returned to the lineup after dealing with an injury to his throwing hand, fielded but threw wide of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Backup shortstop Carlos Triunfel could only watch from the bench, not in the game despite Ramirez’s poor defensive reputation and the eight run lead. The inning and no-hitter was salvaged by a spectacular play by third baseman Miguel Rojas, who deftly stabbed a hard-hit Troy Tulowitzki grounder behind the third bag. Rojas threw a perfect strike to Gonzalez to retire Tulowitzki.
Kershaw recorded the majority of the twenty-seven outs via the strikeout, and surpassed his previous career high of thirteen in a game. Kershaw looked unhittable from the very beginning, his legendary curveball in particularly deadly form the whole night. He never lost velocity on his fastball as the game wore on, which was all too much for a Rockies lineup that was without usual threats like Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer and Nolan Aernado. He only allowed two balls to leave the infield. The Dodgers aided Kershaw in his bid by roughing up Jorge De La Rosa and the Colorado bullpen for eight runs, including a bases-clearing double by Rojas.
Prior to setting the high water mark for GameScore last night, the previous best game of the year was pitched by the Nationals’ Jordan Zimermann on June 8th against San Diego, in which he posted a 95.
This is the second time the Rockies have been no-hit by the Dodgers. The first instance came in 1996 when Hideo Nomo sat down a much more dangerous lineup that included Andres Galarraga and Dante Bichette at Coors Field.
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