Let’s get one thing out of the way right now: thank you, offense. If you’d told a dozen Dodger fans that Clayton Kershaw was going to throw a no-hitter tonight, I imagine that at least half of them would have said something along the lines of “and he got a no-decision, right?” or “and did he have to hit his own homer to make it a win?” We’re cynical like that. So while on any other night, bouncing Jorge De La Rosa after just 3.1 innings, putting up eight runs, with Matt Kemp continuing his red-hot hitting and Miguel Rojas (!) of all people delivering the big blow would be a big story, we’re just going to acknowledge that the bats did their job early and move right on. Sorry, Adrian Gonzalez. I’m sure you understand.
But Kershaw, I mean… good lord. I’m certain I don’t have the words to do this justice. How could I? With a full understanding how hyperbolic this is going to sound, I’m quite sure that’s the best game I’ve ever seen pitched. It’s very possibly the best game I will ever see pitched in my entire life. “Dominant” doesn’t even begin to describe it. So far as I can tell, no one has ever done what he did, ever. No one has struck out 15 in a game where no hits or walks were allowed. No. One. According to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, Kershaw’s Game Score of 102 is not only better than Sandy Koufax‘ perfecto, it’s the second best of all time behind Kerry Wood‘s 20 strikeout game. Only Nolan Ryan has ever struck out more in a no-hitter.
I cannot discuss with enough clarity how incredible every single pitch of the night was. He was, quite literally, untouchable, and while I’d love to give you 97 different GIF examples, here’s just one.
And yeah, it’s going to be tough to talk about this game without noting Hanley Ramirez‘ brutal throwing error in the seventh inning that turned this from a perfect game into a no-hitter, and wondering about whether he should have already been out in an 8-0 game. (Yes. Obviously.) But don’t dwell on that. It has nothing to do with how wonderful Kershaw was; besides, minutes later, Rojas took a hit away by making a play he had no business making.
This is the best game I’ve ever seen. It’s the best game you’ve ever seen. I’m not even sure how to do it justice. Clayton Kershaw, we are all so lucky for having you.