We have another one-start day for Clayton Kershaw, but July 10 also includes an All-Star appearance, which came first.
In 2012, Kershaw was the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, and was named to his second All-Star team.
The game in Kansas City was started by Matt Cain, who pitched two innings for the NL, followed by Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals. The fourth inning belonged to Kershaw and he, like every other NL pitcher, did not allow a run.
Eleven pitchers were used by the NL in this one, and Kershaw’s two hits allowed were more than anyone else on the staff. But one of those hits was dubious, thanks to then-rookie Bryce Harper losing the ball in the lights:
Staked to an eight-run lead, Clayton Kershaw pitched a scoreless fifth inning, escaping a bases-loaded jam created by a clean single, a fly ball that was completely lost by a hapless left-fielder Bryce Harper, and a walk. But the Dodger portsider, on his 27th pitch, induced a full-count fly ball to left off the bat of Ian Kinsler that Harper could handle for the third out.
The National League won, 8-0.
Kershaw’s only regular season start on July 10 came in 2014, when he was at the peak of his powers. Hosting the Padres at home, Kershaw came into this one having not allowed a run in exactly four weeks.
Each of his previous four starts were scoreless, and didn’t allow a run in the first five innings of this one either. That gave Kershaw 41 consecutive scoreless innings, and after he struck out the first two hitters of the sixth inning I decided to get cute on Twitter.
You know it's weird, Clayton Kershaw hasn't even allowed a home run during this streak— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) July 11, 2014
Less then one minute later, Chase Headley homered, snapping the scoreless streak and tying the game.
The Dodgers were able to scratch across the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, and Kershaw made it hold up with a complete-game win. He struck out 11.
From my game recap:
“We’re not supposed to give up runs,” Kershaw said after the game. “That’s our job.”
During the streak, 18 hitters batted against Kershaw with runners in scoring position. They were 0-for-17 with eight strikeouts, nine groundouts and two walks, and haven’t hit the ball out of the infield.
Forty-one consecutive scoreless innings is the longest streak of Kershaw’s career, and somehow only fourth in team history, behind Orel Hershiser (59 innings), Don Drysdale (58), and Zack Greinke (45⅔). In the expansion era (1961-present), only Bob Gibson (47 innings) and Brandon Webb (42) are also ahead of Kershaw’s streak.
2012 All-Star Game: 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk
2014 (W, 11-2): 9 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
Up next: No July 11 games for Kershaw, so we’ll see you again Sunday