The Los Angeles Dodgers picked up and absolute superstar with their 1st pick in the 2006 draft with left-hander Clayton Kershaw going 7th overall behind Evan Longoria. This Kershaw kid came out of Highland Park High School after going 13-0 with an astounding 0.77 ERA. This was the year where he also pitched his 15-strikeout perfect game and won by the mercury rule after 5 innings.
After working his way up through the farm system and all the minor teams and in 2008 he made his way up so far that he had earned him self a start at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw struck out the first batter he faced, Skip Schumacher who would later become a teammate at the Dodgers.
Kershaw finished his rookie season 5–5, with a 4.26 ERA in 22 games. He even got 2 innings out of the bullpen in the Dodger’s NLCS against the Phillies.
All of this led up to Clayton’s month of June, he went 6-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 44 innings of work and in those 44 Clayton has 24 scoreless in a row to end it. The southpaw was also titled the National League’s pitcher of the month along side Felix Hernandez for the American League even though “The King” has a loss and a worst ERA.
Kershaw’s 6 wins have helped the Dodgers pull back the 9½ game deficit to the San Francisco Giants and now sit a top the west with their 49-39 record topping their rivals by half a game.
Nothing was more spectacular however than the ace’s perfect game. Kershaw had retired the first 18 batters in a row and took to the mound to start the 7th with the Dodgers up 8-0 already after the offense took the show away early. A little roller in front of Hanley Ramirez would be the downfall as the Shortstop with the injured finger rushed in to keep the perfection in tact, he managed a throw but put it way off line for an error. Clayton after the game said, “(The ground ball) would have been called a hit under normal circumstances”. Clayton Kershaw finished the game with 15 strikeouts, the most for his career.
Clayton Kershaw celebrating his no hitter.
The no-no was the second one for the Dodgers this year after Josh Beckett did it against the Phillies away from home. And going by the Dodgers $215 million pay roll the other three should soon be following suit.
But the best thing about the superstar’s no hitter was the fact that no one got hurt. As after Josh’s no-no Drew Butera left his catching mask on he ground and it got trodden on by AJ Ellis himself, injuring the starting catchers ankle.
So now what is left for Kershaw himself and the whole of the Dodgers 25 man roster is to go all the way and win the World Series come late October and I think this team can do it if they keep the momentum up and use their talents to perfection.