Clayton Kershaw was absolutely stellar today. One might figure that from looking at the results: 9 IP, 3 H, 14 K, 0 BB. But he was somehow even more impressive than his line. In those nine innings of work, he threw 101 pitches, 75 for strikes. He induced more swinging strikes (27) than he threw balls out of the strike zone. For reference, Kershaw had 22 swinging strikes in his no-hitter.
Kershaw retired the first 14 batters he faced, and although he lost his perfect game on an Alexei Ramirez two-out base hit in the fifth inning, Ramirez was erased going for second base, thanks to a perfect throw by Yasiel Puig.
The other two hits Kershaw allowed were consecutive singles by Wil Myers and Matt Kemp in the top of the sixth, but neither was hit especially hard, and Kershaw worked his way out of that jam with ease.
Our own Daniel Brim noted that this was the 15th 10+ strikeout/no walk game of Kershaw’s career:
Career games with 10+K, 0BB:
1. Johnson, 36
2. Schilling, 27
3. Clemens, 21
4. Martinez, 18
5. Kershaw, 14. Working on number 15 today.
— Daniel Brim (@DanielBrim) May 1, 2016
As if that wasn’t enough, Kershaw was also responsible for the sole Dodger RBI. A.J. Ellis doubled with two outs in the bottom of the third, and Kershaw drove him in with a base hit up the middle.
Besides that, Padres starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz did a good job containing the Dodger lineup. The only other hit he allowed was a double off the bat of Trayce Thompson. Justin Turner did reach on an error, but was erased immediately afterwards on a double play. Ellis also drew an intentional walk (he’d also receive an unintentional walk in the 8th inning).
This game felt a lot more like it was being played in the 1960s than in 2016: great pitching, minimal offense, and a game time of just two hours and seven minutes.