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Clayton Kershaw, Bob Lemon & the shutout / home run club

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Clayton Kershaw did just about everything possible on Monday. He pitched a shutout. He homered. Just how rare is that?

USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw has spent his career in rare territory, but on Monday did something even he hadn't done before. He became the first pitcher in 60 years to pitch a complete game shutout and hit a home run on opening day, the first since Bob Lemon in 1953 for Cleveland.

On the mound, Kershaw was cruising through eight innings. He allowed just three hits to that point and had thrown 85 pitches. But even though the game was scoreless and Kershaw led off the eighth inning, it was obviously his game to finish one way or another.

"I'd rather have my best guy out there one more inning," said manager Don Mattingly.

At the time I tweeted this:

The home run broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning

"I was shocked, I didn't know what to expect. What an awesome feeling," Kershaw said. "I was fortunate. I figured I better swing at the first pitch because I already struck out twice and didn't want to strike out again."

For a moment it looked like Kershaw had entered Bob Welch territory. It was Welch who homered against Mario Soto of the Reds on June 17, 1983 for the only run in a complete game shutout of Cincinnati. But the Dodgers rallied for three more runs against the Giants bullpen, so Kershaw has to settle for the 11th shutout/homer game in Los Angeles Dodgers history.

LA Dodgers shutout / home run combos
Pitcher Date Opponent Score
Clayton Kershaw Monday San Francisco 4-0
Chan Ho Park 9/29/2000 San Diego 3-0
Bob Welch 6/17/1983 Cincinnati 1-0
Claude Osteen 8/7/1969 Pittsburgh 6-0
Don Drysdale 7/24/1966 New York 5-0
Don Drysdale 6/6/1965 Milwaukee 4-0
Stan Williams 7/2/1962 Philadelphia 4-0
Don Drysdale 9/28/1961 Philadelphia 4-0
Don Drysdale 6/14/1961 Chicago 7-0
Stan Williams 7/24/1960 Philadelphia 9-0
Stan Williams 7/6/1960 San Francisco 10-0