Up next in our Clayton Kershaw project looks back at an early start, with a 22-year-old Kershaw battling the Nationals in Washington D.C. in 2010.
That April 24 game was a Saturday, the middle game of a weekend series. Ten years seems so long ago, especially when considering the opposing managers in this one were Joe Torre and Jim Riggleman.
Remember this was young Kershaw, so there was wildness in his 55th career start, which came in the form of three walks and a wild pitch in this game. Kershaw also balked, allowed four doubles, and a triple, the five extra-base hits a career high (he’s done it in the regular season three times since, and once more in the postseason).
But despite the traffic on the bases and wildness, Kershaw departed having allowed only two runs in his six innings, though it could have been three. From my game recap:
Clayton Kershaw was wild early, walking three batters in his first three innings, pushing his major league leading total to 18 bases on balls this season. However, he battled through several two-out rallies to pitch six innings, and didn’t walk a batter in his final three innings. He left with the game tied, and was lucky to not be trailing, as Nyjer Morgan hit a double to left field in the sixth inning, the fourth two-out double by the Nationals against Kershaw, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Morgan was called out before Craig Stammen touched home plate with the go-ahead run, so the run didn’t count.
This game lasted a full 13 innings, with Russell Martin singling home Rafael Furcal for the winning run. It was the first major league win for Carlos Monasterios. A truly legendary game.
The outing: 6 IP, 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Up next: We’re back to a two-start day for Kershaw