Starting Josh Rutledge and Kyle Parker at the corner infield spots against baseball's best pitcher was never an ideal scenario, but Clayton Kershaw brought his absolute best stuff to the mound tonight and accomplished one of the rarest feats in baseball, a no-hitter, in the Dodgers' 8-0 win over the Rockies.
The no-no completed a Dodgers sweep of the Rockies and sent Colorado back home with a 3-3 road trip after their sweep of the Giants in San Francisco.
Kershaw struck out 15 Rockies hitters, a career-high for him, and had all of his pitches working at their peak, with an especially nasty curveball that accounted for six of his punchouts. He threw 107 pitches in the game, 79 for strikes. It was the second no-hitter by a Dodgers pitcher this season with Josh Beckett having thrown one on May 25 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
As a Rockies fan, I'm not at all upset at what happened tonight. Kershaw was a master at work, and that it was the Rockies were on the other end of it isn't really their fault. Honestly, getting no-hit by the likes of Bud Smith is one thing, but with Kershaw it's another. He's been the best pitcher in baseball for years and this was coming, the only question was when and against whom.
Any team would have been shut down by Kershaw tonight and they all could very well have been no-hit. It was just one of those things as a baseball fan that you have to appreciate. Kershaw's game score of 102 was the second-highest for a nine inning game in baseball history, trailing only Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game in 1998. We just witnessed something historic, appreciate it.
Only an error by Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez on Corey Dickerson's ground ball in the seventh inning prevented Kershaw from throwing the 24th perfect game in MLB history. The last pitcher to throw a no-hitter with the lone base runner reaching on an error was Jonathan Sanchez in 2009.
Los Angeles third baseman Miguel Rojas made an excellent play going to his right to cut down Troy Tulowitzki in the seventh to preserve Kershaw's no-hitter.
Needless to say, Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa was not nearly as sharp as his counterpart, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on six hits in 3 1/3 innings of work, walking five and striking out just one. It took him 86 pitches to record 10 outs. On the bright side, the Rockies' much-maligned bullpen threw 4 2/3 shutout innings in relief of De La Rosa, allowing just three hits and a walk.
The Rockies will have an off day tomorrow as they return home for a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
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