Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kershaw tosses no-hitter

LOS ANGELES—A pair of Cy Young Awards, three-straight major league ERA titles, a 20-win season—and now a no-hitter.
There isn’t much more for Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw to accomplish besides winning a World Series ring.

Kershaw dominated the Colorado Rockies last night—striking out a career-high 15 while allowing his only baserunner on a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in L.A.’s 8-0 victory.
Kershaw’s gem gave the Dodgers both no-hitters in the majors this season. Josh Beckett tossed one May 25 in Philadelphia.
“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.”
Cheered on by his wife in the stands, Kershaw (7-2) retired his first 18 batters before Corey Dickerson led off the seventh with a slow bouncer to Ramirez.
His throw on the run went wide past first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for a two-base error—ending any chance for a perfect game.
But that was it for the Rockies against the 26-year-old Kershaw, who shrugged off the miscue and came oh-so-close to pitching just the 22nd perfecto in the majors since 1900.
“He had command of everything. I told him between innings: ‘It’s not fair when you have a devastating slider and a devastating curveball in the same night,’” said Dodgers’ catcher A.J. Ellis.
“And when he does that, nights like this are really possible.”
One batter after Dickerson reached base, rookie third baseman Miguel Rojas backhanded Troy Tulowitzki’s grounder behind the bag and let fly with a strong throw to first that Gonzalez—a three-time Gold Glove winner—scooped out of the dirt to keep the no-hitter intact.
And with the crowd of 46,069 on its feet and roaring, Kershaw made quick work of the Rockies in the ninth.
DJ LeMahieu grounded out to first base on the first pitch before Charlie Culberson hit a lazy fly to right field on the next one.
Dickerson then went down swinging.
The only pitcher to have more strikeouts in a no-hitter was Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan, according to STATS.
“I’ve seen some great pitching performances, but it’s tough to be any better than Kershaw,” said Rockies’ manager Walt Weiss.
After his 107th and final pitch, a beaming Kershaw raised his arms above his head and waited for a huge hug from Ellis.
“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 said.
“It was pretty special.
“It’s something you never forget,” he added. “It’s a game I’ll watch on replays with my kids forever.”
Moments later, as he was about to be interviewed on the field, Kershaw was doused by teammates with two large buckets.
The left-hander with the big-breaking curve also got a big hug from his wife.
The only other time the Dodgers pitched two no-hitters in one season was 1956, when the team was still in Brooklyn.
Carl Erskine and Sal Maglie turned the trick that year.
Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax, who tossed four no-hitters, pitched the franchise’s lone perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965 against the Chicago Cubs.
“I guess I haven’t really thought of the ramifications of throwing one of these things, but it’s definitely special company,” Kershaw said.
“It’s pretty cool.”
It was the 22nd no-hitter in Dodgers’ history—more than any other team—and the first at home since Ramon Martinez’s 2-0 gem against the Marlins on July 14, 1995.
“His stuff was phenomenal tonight,” Dickerson said. “I think all the guys said that.
“We tip our hats to him.”
Elsewhere in the NL, Philadelphia doubled Atlanta 10-5, Chicago beat Miami 6-1, New York edged St. Louis 3-2, Cincinnati dumped Pittsburgh 11-4, and Arizona nipped Milwaukee 4-3.
The Chicago White Sox beat San Francisco 7-6, Washington topped Houston 6-5, and San Diego edged Seattle 2-1 in interleague play.

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