The most dominant game ever?

Discussion in 'Los Angeles DODGERS' started by irish, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    Kershaw's no-hitter most dominant ever
    By David Schoenfield | ESPN.com -- 2 hours ago

    At one point in the middle innings of Wednesday's game, as Clayton Kershaw was chewing up Rockies batters like a puppy with a piece of rawhide, a writer tweeted out a Dodgers scouting report of Kershaw from his days at Highland Park High School in Dallas.

    Scouts grade on a 20-to-80 scale, evaluating each pitch on its current level and future potential, with 50 considered major league average. The Dodgers scout graded Kershaw's present curveball at 45, but with the potential to get up to ... 55.

    The Dodgers drafted him anyway.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    There's something majestic about watching Kershaw pitch. Is that the right word? Maybe. I don't know. I love the way he peers over the top of his black A2000 glove, an intense but relaxed focus. He's listed at 6-foot-3 but he always seems taller, maybe because of the way he raises his arms over his head in that unique windup with the pause at the apex of his delivery and then that little jerk as he begins to push forward. Certainly, his delivery serves a couple purposes: It creates balance and repetition, but it also serves to hide the ball from the batter in some fashion. Kershaw's repertoire is top-notch, of course, with a fastball he commands to all four quadrants of the plate, a nasty slider and then the curveball, old Public Enemy No. 1, the unhittable weapon. But the deception in his delivery is part of the reason he's the best pitcher in baseball.

    I turned the game on in the fifth inning. Kershaw had his scraggly mountain-man beard going. He also had his stuff going. The Rockies lead the National League in hitting, but they don't lead the National League in hitting on the road. I didn't see one hard hit ball off him, although Josh Rutledge had a foul ball earlier in the game that was inches from going fair. By the end of the sixth inning, it seemed obvious: He's going to get the perfect game. Eighteen up, 18 down and the Rockies had zero chance. Fastball, fastball, Public Enemy No. 1. Good night, good luck and sit down. It's ridiculous to predict a perfect game, even when it's two-thirds complete, but that's how dominating Kershaw looked.

    Of course, he didn't get the perfect game. In the top of the seventh, Corey Dickerson led off with a chopper toward short that Hanley Ramirez charged, fielded cleanly and then shanked the throw to first; an obvious error. With one out, Troy Tulowitzki hit a bouncer down the third-base line on which Miguel Rojas made a terrific play to gun down Tulo for the defensive play of the night.

    The final seven outs were pretty easy. Wilin Rosario struck out looking on a curveball, Drew Stubbs swung through a curve, Rutledge swung and missed on another curve (although he somehow fouled off an 0-2 slider), Kyle Parker hit a cue ball right to Adrian Gonzalez at first. In the ninth, the crowd roaring and the camera flashing to Kershaw's wife, Ellen, between pitches, DJ LeMaheiu swung at a first-pitch fastball and grounded out, Gonzalez to Kershaw. Charlie Culberson also swung at the first pitch and hit a routine fly ball to right. Dickerson was the final batter. Kershaw blew a 94 mph fastball by him. Dickerson foul tipped a 95 mph heater. Somehow, Dickerson fouled off a curveball. You knew the curve was coming again. Dickerson had to have known it was coming. Over the past three seasons, Kershaw had recorded 169 strikeouts and walked one batter with the curve while allowing a .103 average. Here comes the Kershaw curveball, the best pitch in the game.

    A.J. Ellis called for a slider. Beautiful.

    Good night, good luck and no-hitter.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    "It was just so much fun, I can't explain it," Kershaw said in his postgame interview.

    "As far as individual games go, I'll remember this the rest of my life," he added as teammates dumped Gatorade him, blew soap bubbles and did a little Irish jig.

    It's a game we can all remember. It was one of the greatest games ever pitched.

    His final line: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 15 SO, 107 pitches.

    His final Game Score: 102. Here's the list of Game Scores of 100 or higher in a nine-inning game:

    - Kerry Wood, Cubs, 1998: 105 (1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 20 SO)
    - Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, 2014: 102
    - Matt Cain, Giants: 2012: 101 (0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 14 SO)
    - Nolan Ryan, Rangers, 1991: 101 (0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 16 SO)
    - Sandy Koufax, Dodgers, 1965: 101 (0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 14 SO)
    - Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays, 2010: 100 (1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 17 SO)
    - Randy Johnson, D-backs, 2004: 100 (0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 13 SO)
    - Curt Schilling, D-backs, 2002: 100 (1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 17 SO)
    - Nolan Ryan, Angels, 1973: 100 (0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 17 SO)
    - Nolan Ryan, Angels, 1972: 100 (1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 16 SO)
    - Warren Spahn, Braves, 1960: 100 (0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 15 SO)​

    Cain, Koufax and Johnson threw perfect games. The Game Score method doesn't subtract points for the error, only for walks, hits and runs allowed. By this measure, you can argue that Kershaw just threw the second-most dominant game in baseball history. You can debate, factor in the opponent, the prevalence of strikeouts in today's game. Still. No hits, no walks, 15 K's, only 107 pitches. Koufax threw 113 pitches in his perfect game. Cain threw 125. Johnson threw 117.

    There have been others to lose perfect games due to a single error. Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants lost his in 2009 when Juan Uribe made an error in the eighth inning. Terry Mulholland of the Phillies lost his in 1990 on a seventh-inning error by Charlie Hayes, although he then induced a double play to still end up facing the minimum 27 batters. Jerry Reuss, Dick Bosman, Bill McCahan and Walter Johnson also lost perfect games due to an error.

    So maybe the record books won't list this game as one of the 23 perfect games in major league history.

    We'll have to settle for simply maybe the best ever.

    __
     
  2. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    Top 10 facts on Kershaw's no-hitter
    By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com -- 90 minutes ago

    [​IMG]
    Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Rockies and logged a career-high 15 strikeouts on Wednesday (AP Photo)

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw threw the 284th no-hitter in Major League Baseball history on Wednesday. Stats & Info gives you the top 10 facts on his remarkable effort.

    1. Kershaw recorded a career-high 15 strikeouts, 14 of which came on breaking balls. The 14 strikeouts on breaking balls are the most in a single start since pitch types were begun to be tracked, in 2009.

    2. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Kershaw’s 15 strikeouts are tied for the third-most strikeouts in a no-hitter in MLB history. The only pitcher in MLB history with more strikeouts in a no-hitter is Nolan Ryan, who did it twice (17 in 1973 with the Angels and 16 in 1991 with the Rangers). Kershaw tied Warren Spahn for most strikeouts in a no-hitter by a left-handed pitcher. Spahn did it in 1960.

    3. Kershaw is the third reigning Cy Young Award winner to throw a no-hitter, and the second to do so in a Dodgers uniform. Sandy Koufax did it for the Dodgers in 1964 and Bob Gibson did so for the Cardinals in 1971.

    4. Kershaw’s teammate Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter on May 25. The last time a team threw the first two no-hitters of a season was when Cubs pitchers Burt Hooton and Milt Pappas did it in 1972. Before Kershaw and Beckett, the last Dodgers to throw no-hitters in the same season were Carl Erskine and Sal Maglie in 1956.

    5. Kershaw's no-hitter came 24 days after Beckett’s no-hitter. Per Elias research, that is the shortest span between no hitters by a team since Johnny Vander Meer of the Reds did it in consecutive starts in 1938, on June 11 and June 15.

    6. The Dodgers now have 22 no-hitters in their history, most of any MLB team. No other team has more than 18.

    7. The most recent Dodgers left-handed pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Fernando Valenzuela in 1990. Kershaw is the fifth Dodgers lefty to toss a no-hitter.

    8. As for the Colorado Rockies, they were no-hit for the third time in their franchise's history. The most recent was by a Dodger (Hideo Nomo in 1998) and the other was by a lefty (Al Leiter for the Marlins in 1996).

    9. Kershaw’s only blemish came from a Hanley Ramirez error in the seventh inning. Elias tells us that the last pitcher to throw a non-perfect no-hitter without any walks was Jonathan Sanchez in 2009. An eighth-inning error did in Sanchez during his perfect-game bid.

    10. A legitimate case could be made for Kershaw’s pitching performance on Wednesday as the best individual pitching performance all-time. Kershaw’s Game Score was 102. Over the past 100 years, that’s the second-highest Game Score in a nine-inning game. Only Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game in 1998 was higher (105), but Wood allowed a hit in that game.

    Furthermore, Elias research confirms that Kershaw is the first player ever in the history of MLB with 15 strikeouts without allowing either a hit or walk.

    __
     
  3. chris

    chris Guest

    2nd best game ever pitched. Wow.
     
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  4. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. blueplatespecial

    blueplatespecial DSP Legend

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    I love this quote by AJ:

    "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," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "And when he does that, nights like this are really possible."
     
  6. MZA

    MZA MODERATOR Staff Member

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    It was to me. Maybe I'm forgetting someone, but I don't think I've ever seen a better performance from a pitcher in the time I've watched baseball.
     
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  7. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    certainly the most amazing pitching performance i've ever been privileged to see
    15 k's, no walks, only one three ball count... that's beyond the stuff of legends
    i've seen koufax, i've seen gibson, i've seen ryan, i've seen seaver, i've seen carlton...
    but, in all seriousness and all homer-ism aside, clayton might very well end up being the best of them all
    we are truly very blessed to watch him pitch every 4-5 days
     
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  8. lastatman

    lastatman DSP Legend

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    And that's why I was so uneasy when they took their time extending his contract and so happy once it got done. Yes it's a shitload of money, but when you have a once-in-a-generation player on your roster (or as you say, potentially even better than that), you do everything you can to keep him there.
     
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  9. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    this might be my favorite picture of them all
    look at the genuine stoke and glee on the guys' faces
    they're happier than had they done it themselves
    especially bills, who's probably done as a dodger
    really shows how much they love kersh...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. THINKBLUE

    THINKBLUE DSP Gigolo

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    Kershaw, after almost every start EVER, always seems to complain that one or two pitches "weren't working". And was still dominant.

    I always wondered what would happen if one night all of his pitches were "working".

    Well...this.

    Incredible.
     
  11. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    and i heard/read somewhere that of his 15 k's, only one came on a fastball
    and that pitch he froze rosario on to end the 7th...

    http://m.mlb.com/lad/video/v3384801...rio-sends-nono-to-8th/?tcid=mm_la_vid&c_id=la
     
  12. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    how do you define class, a team player and a leader?...
    • "Under normal circumstances, that's pretty close to a hit," Kershaw said. "Dickerson's pretty fast and Hanley did all he could. He made a good play and just the throw was a little wide. Nothing he could do with that. It was a tough play."
     
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  13. C2ThaB81

    C2ThaB81 DSP Legend

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  14. BlueMouse

    BlueMouse Voted DSP's favorite moderator Staff Member Administrator

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    I missed the game last night, so I just finished watching the entire game on replay.

    Damn, that was great.
     
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  15. THINKBLUE

    THINKBLUE DSP Gigolo

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    If he can do anything close to this in the playoffs or a world series game I can't imagine how much his legend status will rise
     
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  16. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    As feats pile up, Kershaw-Koufax link clearer
    Young lefty, a tireless worker, humbled by comparisons to Dodgers legend
    By Ken Gurnick | MLB.com -- 9 hours ago

    [​IMG]

    LOS ANGELES -- Every scouting director sounds like he found the next Clayton Kershaw when talking about his latest first-round Draft pick.

    Here's how Logan White sounded when he found the first Clayton Kershaw.

    "I compare him to Dave Righetti," White said after making Kershaw the seventh overall pick in the 2006 Draft. "He throws from a high angle, has a power fastball, a good curveball and a feel for a changeup. He's got a natural delivery, and he's a great makeup kid."

    Kershaw compared himself at the time to a lefty who, like him, became a two-time Cy Young Award winner.

    "I try to pattern myself after Johan Santana of the Twins," Kershaw said then. "He's as close to a left-handed power pitcher as you can get."

    Now, the only obvious comparison for Kershaw is the greatest Dodgers pitcher of all time, and possibly the greatest lefty of all time, Sandy Koufax, who had this to say Thursday. "I'm thrilled for him and [a no-hitter was] not unexpected," Koufax said. Even before his first no-hitter, thrown against the Rockies on Wednesday night, Kershaw reminded old-school baseball eyes of Dandy Sandy, who threw four of them, one a perfect game.

    Joe Torre, a Koufax contemporary and friend, couldn't stop himself from making that comparison six years ago after Kershaw forced his way into his first big league training camp with a limited arsenal of devastating weapons.

    "There was a left-handed pitcher in this organization with only a fastball and curve, and he was pretty good," said Torre. "But I don't want to put that kind of pressure on him."

    "If you're going to get compared to somebody, that's the guy," Kershaw said when first linked to Koufax. "It's the biggest honor you can get. But I also take that with a grain of salt. In his prime, he was the best ever. I have to get a lot better to prove that right."

    Among Kershaw's many amazing achievements is teaching himself a wipeout slider in 2010, while already in the Major Leagues.

    But trumping everything else, Kershaw has somehow exceeded the stratospheric expectations that Hall of Famers like Torre and others set for him.

    "I think the person inside just wants to keep getting better," pitching coach Rick Honeycutt has said of Kershaw's relentlessness. "You see it in the work ethic, the mental approach, day in and day out. It's like we tell the guys, and they can see it with him -- you get out what you put in. He's all in. He's that kind of guy. Very few can back it up every year, but he's prepared himself to leave it all on the field. It's human nature to be satisfied when you get to a certain point. What separates the great ones is that they aren't satisfied."

    All-Star catcher Russell Martin saw it the first time he caught Kershaw in a Spring Training game and offered this scouting report:

    "For the first time in a big league game -- wow. He's got just a heavy, heavy fastball and an easy delivery. He's very deceptive. His curveball, it just drops off the table. I think it's the best curveball I've ever caught, to be honest. He keeps the ball down. You can see he's a tremendous competitor, giving up a home run to the first batter, getting into a bases-loaded jam and bearing down to strike out two guys to get out of it. It's just how easy he throws. He's mechanically sound. I don't think he needs to learn anything mechanically. He looks polished. He wasn't holding anything back; he was just going after it. He's only 19. Man, that's impressive."

    Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has said that Kershaw comports himself like "a man on a mission." He's been on that mission at least since he was demoted to the Minor Leagues as a rookie in 2008 to work on his control.

    "I was a little ticked off," Kershaw later said. "I got a little mad. It's completely healthy to be mad, as long as you take it the right way. I went home for two days. I got over it, went to Jacksonville and pitched."

    Glenn Dishman, then the pitching coach at Double-A Jacksonville, called the demotion "a blessing."

    "I saw even more determination in him when he came back," Dishman said. "He'd had a taste of the Major Leagues. He became a man on a mission."

    Kershaw earned his second National League Cy Young Award before turning 26. Koufax won his second at 29. Kershaw has a $215 million contract, but Koufax never had one of those.

    "There are very strong similarities between Clayton and Sandy," said Maury Wills, Koufax's former roommate, now working as a bunting instructor. "Clayton is quiet like Sandy, introverted, very polite and, of course, a great talent. It's almost like you want to see him get a little mean, like a [Don] Drysdale or a [Bob] Gibson, although Sandy proved you don't have to be mean to be a great pitcher."

    Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

    __
     
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  17. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    Tulowitzki:
    • "When there's a special moment for someone, you want to watch how a guy responds," Tulowitzki said. "It was nice for me to see how much it means for him."
     
  18. CapnTreee

    CapnTreee Guest

    classy of Tulo... nice to see
     
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