There have been two no-hitters in Major League Baseball so far this season, and both have come from the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation. Last night, nearly a month after Josh Beckett shutout the Phillies, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Colorado Rockies in an 8-0 LA victory.
"I am so amazed," Kershaw said. "Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that, so I have Josh to thank."
Whatever lessons Beckett gave Kershaw, last night made clear that the student has become the master.
It was Kershaw's first no-no, but it more than just a no-hitter. This was one of the all-time dominant pitching performances. The two-time Cy Young Award winner threw 15 strikeouts (a career high) and zero walks — the first time in MLB history that a pitcher has done that in a no-hitter, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. And he did it all on only 107 pitches. And if not for a Hanley Ramirez throwing error in the seventh inning, Kershaw would be celebrating a perfect game.
Not that Kershaw's complaining. This kind of night comes around, oh, never.
"I guess I haven't really thought of the ramifications of throwing one of these things, but it's definitely special company," Kershaw said. "I don't take for granted the history of this or what it means. I definitely understand all that. But as far as individually, it's right up there with winning playoff games and all that stuff. It's pretty cool."
His catcher, A.J. Ellis, said that Kershaw had command of every pitch he threw, calling his slider and curveball "devastating."
"There are some guys in that lineup that give him fits," Ellis said. "But the way he made those guys look tonight was a testament to how good his stuff was. He was pretty dialed in and pretty locked in — especially as the game progressed."
"I started tearing up out there in the ninth inning, just sitting out there catching and watching him throw after he got those first two outs," Ellis added. "It was pretty special."
So special, in fact, that his Dodgers teammates weren't happy just rushing the field after the final out. The party continued into the first post-game interview, resulting in an epic Powerade bath and bubble celebration.
"Don't know if this will ever sink in," Kershaw tweeted after the game. "What an amazing night."
A sentiment baseball fans would have a hard time arguing with.
Photo: Chris Carlson/AP Photo