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Clayton Kershaw day by day: Rolling sevens

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Kershaw has a 1.29 ERA in two career starts on June 1

MLB: JUN 01 Phillies at Dodgers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw has done quite well in his two career starts on June 1, starting with one of his best starts ever at Coors Field in Denver.

On June 1, 2015 the Dodgers opened a midweek series against the Rockies, and Kershaw allowed only a two-run home run in the fourth inning to Nolan Arenado. That tied the game, but the Dodgers blew open the game with six runs in the seventh inning.

Kershaw was part of the rally, but also contributed at the plate throughout. From my game recap:

Kershaw joined in the fun with an RBI single in the sixth, but also singled in the second and doubles in the fifth, for the first three-hit game of his career. It was the first three-hit game by a Dodgers pitcher since Zack Greinke on July 8, 2013.

Kershaw lasted seven innings, striking out seven, and his game score of 65 was tied for his fourth-best in 22 career starts at Coors Field.

In 2019, Kershaw got another June 1 start, this time at home against the Phillies, the middle game of a weekend series. He was even stingier in this game.

Philadelphia only got him for one unearned run, the product of two singles and an error in the fourth inning. Kershaw allowed a leadoff double to Scott Kingery in the seventh, but stranded him in scoring position to finish his night.

From Blake Harris’ game recap:

“I thought this, from recent memory, was the best I’ve seen Clayton throw,” Roberts said. “I think that his entire mix was there. As far as how he attacked guys, all quadrants really, it’s a credit to Clayton that there’s really no one way to kind of prepare for him now.”

The Dodgers led 2-1 when Kershaw left, and extended to a 3-1 advantage, but Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer off Julio Urias in the eighth inning to tie things up, giving Kershaw a no-decision.

Will Smith picked a perfect time for his first career home run, in the ninth inning. The walk-off win made the Dodgers 9-0 in Kershaw’s first nine starts of 2019.

Kershaw in his two June 1 starts allowed three runs (two earned) in 14 innings, a 1.29 ERA with 13 strikeouts.

The outings

2015 (W, 4-3): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

2019: 7 IP, 6 hits, 1 unearned run, 6 strikeouts

Up next: An even stronger two starts on June 2