Clayton Kershaw has started twice in his career on June 16, but like Staind reminded us, it’s been awhile since the last one. A decade, in fact.
Kershaw’s first June 16 start came in 2009 at home against the A’s, with Dallas Braden on the mound for Oakland.
The A’s leadoff batter reached base in each of the first two innings but Kershaw kept them off the scoreboard. Then he retired nine straight batters into the sixth inning, with five strikeouts in that time giving him eight for the game.
A two-out double by Jason Giambi and an intentional walk to Orlando Cabrera ended Kershaw’s outing. He left a 0-0 game and it stayed scoreless as Ronald Belisario escaped the jam.
This was still early Kershaw, just his 34th major league start, which meant it was wild Kershaw. His unintentional walk rate for the season after this game was 13.3 percent. His 87 unintentional walks in 2009 was a career high, and third-most in the National League, behind Doug Davis and Yovanni Gallardo.
This game was also the major league debut for Mitch Jones, a journeyman outfielder and corner infielder with 1,017 minor league games under his belt before getting his first taste of the majors at age 31. From Phil Gurnee’s game recap:
Part of the fun at the Ravine tonight was the rousing ovation the crowd gave recently recalled career minor leaguer Mitch Jones in his first major league at bat. He worked the count to 3-2 before striking out but his knee’s had to be knocking with 41,169 fans cheering every pitch. Even as he walked back to the dugout after the strike out he got a nice ovation. Classy fans tonight.
This game was scoreless until the fifth, when James Loney doubled in two, and Andre Ethier hit a three-rum homer in the next frame to blow this one open. Kershaw was stingy, allowing only a single run while pitching into the eighth inning for the third time in 14 starts that season.
From my game recap:
Kershaw was on tonight, walking a season-low one batter, while striking out seven to tie Dan Haren and Adam Wainwright for second place in the National League in strikeouts, Behind Tim Lincecum. He also induced two pop outs, which helped strand Johnny Gomes at second base after a leadoff double in the second inning. Kershaw, who shaved his head since the homestand, shaved his ERA down to 2.96. Kershaw is 6-1 in his last eight starts with a 1.82 ERA in 54 1/3 innings, an average of just under seven innings per start.
2009: 5⅔ IP, 4 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
2010 (W, 7-3): 7⅓ IP, 7 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Up next: Kershaw’s only start against his “hometown” team