Clayton Kershaw closed out his opening month strong with these two April 28 starts, one from 2013 and another from 2015, though ended up splitting the two games.
First up was 2013 against the Brewers, the finale of a weekend series and homestand for the Dodgers. Carl Crawford provided all the runs in the game with solo home runs in the first and fifth innings. Kershaw made it hold up by allowing only four hits, and retired 18 straight batters at one point.
From my game recap:
Kershaw struck out 12 on the day, his 19th career game of 10 or more strikeouts and first this season. After walking eight batters in his last two starts combined, Kershaw did not issue a free pass on Sunday, the fifth game of his career with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks.
Since 1916, there have been 18 games by a Dodgers starting pitcher with at least 12 strikeouts and no walks. The last two have been accomplished by Kershaw, who joins Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale as the only repeat offenders on the list.
Kershaw ended his April 2013 with a 1.73 ERA in six starts, one off the major league lead with 47 strikeouts.
His next April 28 start came in 2015 at home against the Giants, and his second straight start against San Francisco. Kershaw struck out eight and walked none in seven innings, but Buster Posey got him twice — and RBI single in the first inning, and a home run in the fourth inning.
That, and Madison Bumgarner lasting eight innings, was enough to send the Dodgers with a 2-1 loss. From my postgame reaction:
“The bottom line is I just got out-pitched. Madison pitched better than I did and they won the game,” Kershaw said. “Not a whole lot of analyzation going on, I just got out-pitched. You tip your cap.”
Kershaw ended his April 2015 with a 3.73 ERA but also 43 strikeouts in 31⅓ innings. He was 1-2 thanks in part to the Dodger scoring zero runs with Kershaw in the game in three of his five starts.
In his two April 28 starts, Kershaw combined for 20 strikeouts, no walks, and two runs allowed in 15 innings.
2013 (W, 3-2): 8 IP, 4 hits, 12 strikeouts
2015 (L, 1-2): 7 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 8 strikeouts
Up next: Our last Kershaw start from April, a single-start day going back to 2010.