Clayton Kershaw has started three times in his career on June 24, and it took until last year for him to allow a run.
Eight pitches in, Johnny Vander Meer’s estate did a little dance, as Eric Hosmer singled to right field, ending Kershaw’s chance at a second straight no-hitter. But Kershaw erased him on a ground ball double play on the very next pitch.
Kansas City didn’t threaten too much against Kershaw in this game, collecting only six singles and a walk. They put a runner in scoring position in the fourth and seventh innings, but Kershaw escaped all of that with a trio of ground balls.
Kershaw was only at 108 pitches through eighth innings, but with the score still tight (2-0) manager Don Mattingly turned to closer Kenley Jansen to close this one out.
Despite Kershaw’s low pitch count in the early part of the game, Mattingly said it looked to him that Kershaw “was fighting it.”
“It was a good win for us,” Kershaw added. “It definitely wasn’t easy tonight. My fastball command was all over the place.”
This was the second of four consecutive scoreless starts for Kershaw, and through this game had amassed 21 straight scoreless innings. It would eventually reach 41 innings.
Colorado’s best scoring threat came in the first, with a double, an infield single, and a walk to load the bases with one out, but Kershaw struck out Ian Desmond swinging and Trevor Story looking to escape the jam.
From my game recap:
Those were the first two of 13 straight batters retired by Kershaw, who despite the high early pitch count cruised through six innings. Kershaw lowered his career ERA against the Rockies at home to 1.46, and nine of those 17 starts have been scoreless.
The Dodgers scored four runs off Tyler Chatwood in the second and third innings to provide the support in a 4-0 win. Kershaw struck out eight in his six innings, winning his seventh straight decision.
In 2019 the Dodgers were in Arizona on June 24, with a fun Kershaw vs. Zack Greinke pitching matchup.
LA was sitting pretty with three runs in the top of the first inning, with doubles by Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor the key blows. But that lead evaporated just five batters into the bottom of the inning with a three-run home run by Christian Walker.
Walker is one of only four batters to hit four home runs against Kershaw, and he did so in the fewest plate appearances. Walker is 5-for-11 (.455) against Kershaw with seven RBI.
In the second inning, the Diamondbacks took the lead on a home run, this one by Greinke.
From Blake Harris’ game recap:
Arizona took the lead an inning later, as Greinke homered off of Kershaw. Including the postseason, it’s the fourth time a pitcher has ever homered off of him. After a rough first two innings, Kershaw settled down the rest of the way. He went six innings, allowing four runs with only two strikeouts.
A bases loaded walk by Max Muncy in the seventh tied the game and got Kershaw off the hook for a loss, but Arizona plated four runs in the eighth for the win.
In his three career starts on June 24, Kershaw has a 1.80 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 20 innings.
2014 (W, 8-2): 8 IP, 6 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
2017 (W, 11-2): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
2019: 6 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Up next: No June 25 starts for Kershaw, but June 26 is one of his busiest days of the year