It’s fitting that Clayton Kershaw’s three career starts on June 29 feature a pair of big strikeout games.
This concludes June for Kershaw, a month that saw him post a 2.66 ERA in 61 career starts. Kershaw’s 458 strikeouts are his most in any month, and his 29-percent strikeout rate in June is also his best. Of Kershaw’s 62 career double-digit strikeout games, 14 have come in June, his most prolific month in that regard.
Up first for Kershaw on June 29 was in 2014 against the Cardinals at home.
St. Louis threatened often against Kershaw in this one, but he kept them off the scoreboard. The Cardinals were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position against Kershaw, with five strikeouts.
He struck out 13 in the game in seven innings, Kershaw’s third straight scoreless start. From my game recap:
“The thing with Clayton is that we’ve been seeing this for a while,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Every year there have been numerous games where he has gone out and done this. It’s hard to feel like this is so much different than the others. It seems the same.”
Kershaw’s June was one for the ages: 6 starts, 6 wins, 4 runs allowed, 4 walks, 61 strikeouts in 44 innings, and one no-hitter. He won National League Pitcher of the Month.
Kershaw was also on a win streak heading into his June 29, 2017 start in Anaheim, and made quick work of the Angels with 12 strikeouts in seven innings. He allowed three hits and two walks, with the only run unearned, aided by an error by left fielder Trayce Thompson.
From my game recap:
The Dodgers have won Kershaw’s last 11 starts, dating back to May 6. He is 8-0 with a 2.16 ERA during that span, and at 12-2 on the season has won 12 games before the All-Star break for the first time in his career.
That June, Kershaw struck out 57, tied for his fourth-most in any month.
Last year, Kershaw finally allowed an earned run in a June 29, this time at Coors Field. Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run homer against Kershaw in the third inning, which was rare.
Charlie Blackmon did something very special. He took Clayton Kershaw's curveball deep for a HR. That's the first left-handed home run Kershaw has given up in the regular season in his career.— Inside Edge (@IE_MLB) June 30, 2019
Matt Adams is the only other left-handed batter to take that pitch deep.#Rockies pic.twitter.com/4sUee9iy4j
The Dodgers took a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning, but an error and four straight singles plated four runs for Colorado, which hung the loss on Kershaw, though he did complete seven innings for the third time in three starts on June 29.
In three career June 29 starts, Kershaw has a 1.71 ERA with 32 strikeouts and four walks in 21 innings.
2014 (W, 9-2): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 walks, 13 strikeouts
2017 (W, 12-2): 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 unearned run, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
2019 (L, 7-2): 7 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 7 strikeouts
Up next: No June 30 starts, so we’ll be back Wednesday