Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was nine outs away from joining Sandy Koufax, the southpaw to whom he is often compared, in the history books as the only other Dodger to throw a perfect game.
He settled for a no-hitter instead.
Kershaw had a career high 15 strikeouts and no walks on Wednesday evening at Chavez Ravine in an 8-0 win over the Rockies. It was the 22nd no-hitter in the franchise’s history, which is tops in Major League Baseball, and the second no-hitter for the team in the last 30 days.
The Texan who has two Cy Young Awards and signed a $215 million contract in the offseason had a perfect game through six innings before Hanley Ramirez botched a grounder to open up the 7th inning. That error ended Kershaw’s chance to join Koufax, who has four no-hitters, in the history books.
Kershaw punctuated the no-hitter with an exclamation mark by striking out Corey Dickerson, who happened to reach on Ramirez’s error in the 7th.
Kershaw’s had the most strikeouts (15) by a southpaw in a no-hitter since Warren Spahn (15) in 1960, topping even Koufax’s 14 strikeouts in his 1965 perfect game at Dodgers Stadium against the Chicago Cubs. Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully called that perfect game, and Kershaw’s no-hitter was the 20th no-hitter that Scully has called in his career in addition to three perfect games.
Josh Beckett pitched a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies earlier in the year, which is the only other no-hitter that has been throw this year in Major League Baseball.