You could tell from the beginning of the game that Clayton Kershaw was on fire yesterday.
In the first six innings, Kershaw stuck out ten batters, allowing no hits or no walks. He was on pace for a perfect game. The Rockies just could not touch Kershaw; he struck out five guys in their lineup more than one time on Wednesday night. Something special was definitely brewing at Dodgers Stadium last night.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Rockies got to Kershaw. Corey Dickerson hit a chopping ground ball to Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, who fielded it cleanly. However, Ramirez's throw went wide of Adrian Gonzalez at first base, allowing Dickerson to get to second. Had Ramirez not thrown that ball away, Kershaw would have thrown a perfect game.
Kershaw, like any good pitcher, went unfazed. Following Ramirez's error, Kershaw promptly stuck out Brandon Barnes. Then, Troy Tulowitzki grounded out to third, allowing Dickerson to move up to third. However, the inning would end with him there, as Kershaw struck out Wilin Rosario looking to end the inning, ending the Rockies one and only threat.
After two more perfect innings, Kershaw had done it. He finished off the game with a strikeout (what else) of (you guessed it) Corey Dickerson. He had thrown a no-hitter, pitching nine innings, allowing no runs, no hits, with 15 strikeouts.
Kershaw's no-walk, no-hitter puts him in small company. Only 11 pitchers have thrown a nine-inning no hitter allowing one or more baserunners. The last to do it was Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez against the San Diego Padres on July 10, 2009. Kershaw has thrown the second Dodgers' no-hitter this season. Josh Beckett threw the first one on May 25 against the Phillies.
"Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that," Kershaw said.
The Dodgers become the second team to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season since 1973, when the California Angels received two no-hitters from Nolan Ryan's. In 2010, Roy Halladay tossed a perfect game and a no-hitter (in the postseason) for the Phillies. Kershaw's 15 strikeouts are the most for a no-hitter by anyone not named Nolan Ryan. (Ryan tossed two 17 strikeout no-hitters and one 16 strikeout no-hitter.)
The Dodgers beat the Rockies 8-0 last night, but it really was Kershaw's night. "I'll remember this for the rest of my life," he said.