If anyone had a question as to why Clayton Kershaw is a two-time Cy Young Award winner, they got their answer on Wednesday night. Kershaw turned in a record 15 strikeouts as the Dodgers upended the Rockies 8-0 in front of a happy home crowd.
On what was a career night for the Los Angeles hurler, Kershaw had everything working right as he kept Colorado batters confused nearly all night. In fact, he had carried a perfect game into the seventh inning. After retiring the first 18 batters he face, 10 of which were strikeouts, his perfect bid was shattered by a throwing error by Hanley Ramirez. Corey Dickerson would reach base on the error and would be the only Colorado batter to reach base in the game.
Offensively, the Dodgers could do no wrong. Miguel Rojas led the way with three RBI's, all collected on a single third inning hit. Already up 4-0, Rojas laced a bases-loaded double into left and gave his team a seven-run cushion. From there, it was Kershaw's job to simply slam the door. And he did so in spectacular fashion. After the game, MLB Network reporter Alanna Rizzo spoke with him about his performance after the game, and he was elated and even gave credit to a friend.
We just started scoring so many runs. I didn't want to screw that up. I just kept trying to throw strikes. It was so much fun, I can't even explain it. I am so amazed. Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that, so I have Josh to thank. As far as individual games, this is pretty special. I'll remember this for the rest of my life. Get to do it at home, it's even better. It's amazing.
The no-hitter comes just barely a month after Beckett threw one himself in Philadelphia. It's the first time two Dodger pitchers have thrown a no-hitter in the same season since 1956. It was also the 22nd no-hitter in franchise history, 12th since the team moved to Los Angeles. Kershaw is now 7-2 on the year with a 2.52 ERA, and has two complete games in 10 starts this season.
With the win, the Dodgers pull within four games of division leading San Francisco. It could prove to be an interesting weekend in the NL West, as the Giants have now lost five straight, while the Dodgers win gave them their third consecutive win. They will head to San Diego for a weekend set with the Padres. Dan Haren (7-4, 3.54 ERA) takes the mound against Ian Kennedy (5-8, 3.72 ERA). First pitch from Petco Park is set for 9:10 P.M. Central.