Dodgers Drafted Him Based on His Future Potential That is Paying Off
A pair of Cy Young Awards, three straight major league ERA titles, a 20-win season -- and now a no-hitter.
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The best pitcher in the game since he was 23 years old, Kershaw, now 26, struck out 15 hitters, a career high. He chased 95-mph fastballs with disappearing sliders and feathery curveballs, and by the time he threw his arms in the air and welcomed catcher A.J. Ellis to the mound, when the Colorado Rockies had come and gone with what fight they had, the no-hitter – the 22nd by a Dodger and the second in 3½ weeks – was his.
"I am so amazed," Kershaw said. "Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that, so I have Josh to thank."
Cheered on by his wife in the stands, Kershaw (7-2) retired his first 18 batters before Corey Dickerson led off the seventh with a slow bouncer to Ramirez. His throw on the run went wide past first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for a two-base error -- ending any chance for a perfect game.
"He had command of everything. I told him between innings: 'It's not fair when you have a devastating slider and a devastating curveball in the same night,'" catcher A.J. Ellis said. "And when he does that, nights like this are really possible."
With the crowd of 46,069 on its feet and roaring, Kershaw made quick work of the Rockies in the ninth.
DJ LeMahieu grounded out to first base on the first pitch of the inning, and Charlie Culberson hit a lazy fly to right field on the next one. Dickerson then got four straight strikes and went down swinging.
"I've seen some great pitching performances, but it's tough to be any better than Kershaw," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.
He struck out Corey Dickerson on a slider that Dickerson barely saw, that ran away from the end of his bat.
"He's done it," Scully said.
Kershaw smiled broadly and dropped his glove. His teammates poured from the dugout. Ellis, perhaps his best friend on the team, met him with a bear hug. Minutes later, Ellis handed Kershaw the baseball. Kershaw tucked it in his left back pocket.
"As far as individual games go, this was pretty special," he said. "I'll remember it the rest of my life."
The no-hitter was the first at Dodger Stadium since June 2008, when the Los Angeles Angels combined for one over eight innings, and the first by an individual pitcher since Ramon Martinez's in 1995. The Rockies were no-hit for the first time since 1996, by Hideo Nomo.