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Clayton Kershaw day by day: No-decisions and hit batters

4 career starts for Kershaw on July 20

MLB: OCT 07 NLDS - Dodgers at Cardinals - Game 4 Photo by Scott Kane/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s a big no-decision day for Clayton Kershaw on July 20, with memorable games moments sprinkled in.

His first July 20 start came in 2010 against Tim Lincecum and the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

This was the infamous Donnie Two Times game, in which manager Don Mattingly stepped off the mound on his way back to the dugout, but turned around to answer a question and stepped back on the dirt. Giants manager Bruce Bochy spied this, and successfully argued it was a second mound visit, and Jonathan Broxton had to be removed. San Francisco successfully completed their ninth-inning rally against George Sherrill for a 7-5 win.

This game was also marred by a beanball war of sorts, which got Kershaw ejected in the top of the seventh. From my game recap:

Clayton Kershaw was through six innings having thrown 103 pitches, but was allowed to bat in the bottom of the inning. Even stranger, as Kershaw was batting, Hong-Chih Kuo was warming up in the bullpen. Then, to start the seventh inning, in a one-run game mind you, Kershaw hit Aaron Rowand with his first pitch. That pitch earned him and Joe Torre an immediate ejection, and more importantly put a guy with a .284 on-base percentage on base as the tying run.

Kershaw was suspended five games for intentionally throwing at Rowand.

Kershaw and Lincecum were at it again exactly one year later, but this game was in San Francisco. This was a terrific pitchers’ duel, with the two combining for 15 innings and one run allowed.

That run was a splash home run by Dioner Navarro in the seventh inning, which Kershaw made hold up with eight scoreless innings.

From my game recap:

Kershaw has also not allowed an earned run in each of his last three starts, totaling 23 innings. The only other Dodger pitcher besides Kershaw in the last 10 years to have three straight starts without giving up an earned run was Chad Billingsley, who did so last July.

Kershaw’s career ERA against the Giants, in 10 games (nine starts), is 1.41. As Joe Block of KABC noted, that is the lowest mark against the Giants in MLB history.

This was one of four one-run victories for Kershaw over Lincecum in 2011.

On July 20, 2014 the Dodgers were in St. Louis finishing up a series against the Cardinals on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. This was a testy series between two NLCS opponents the previous year who would meet again in this year’s NLDS.

Hanley Ramirez was hit by pitch in this one, though it wasn’t the ribs this time like in the 2013 NLCS, but rather his hand, and he’s miss three games. Yasiel Puig also missed three games after getting hit in the hand the previous day.

Benches were warned after Kershaw hit Matt Holliday in this one, after Ramirez was hit, though nobody was ejected.

The Dodgers led this 3-1 until Peter Boujos hit a game-tying homer off Kershaw in the sixth. Kershaw stayed in until the seventh, striking out eight in a no-decision. He also contributed on offense with a walk in the second, then this in the fourth, from my game recap:

Kershaw stole his base in the fourth inning after reaching on a force play. It was the first stolen base of Kershaw’s career, and the first steal by a Dodgers pitcher this season. While on the mound, Kershaw has only allowed two steals this year, in four attempts.

The Dodgers won the game by scratching across a run in the ninth inning, a rally for which the bench was so depleted by hit by pitches that catcher Drew Butera was used as a pinch runner.

That remains Kershaw’s only career stolen base in the majors or minors.

Kershaw’s last July 20 start to date came in 2019 against the Marlins at home. He was outstanding in six scoreless innings and somehow got a no-decision.

From Blake Harris’ game recap:

Before the heroics from Beaty in the eighth, the game belonged to Clayton Kershaw. Getting the start for the Dodgers, Kershaw had arguably his best outing of the season. He threw six scoreless innings, striking out 10, including seven of the first nine hitters he faced. Only two Marlins managed a hit off him, and only one reached via a walk. On top of that, he delivered at the plate as well, driving in a run with a single.

Those heroics from Beaty came in the form of a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, after Miami scored five in the top of the inning to tie the game.

Kershaw was electric in two starts against the Marlins last year, striking out 10 in each game while giving up no runs in 13 innings. He started each game especially hit, with a perfect three innings in both, striking out seven of his first nine batters in this one, then eight of his first nine 25 days later in Miami.

So that’s a win, three no-decisions, two batters hit in retaliation, one ejection, and a 1.67 ERA in four July 20 starts for Kershaw, with 36 strikeouts in 27 innings.

The outings

2010: 6 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

2011 (W, 11-4): 8 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts

2014: 7 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts

2019: 6 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts

Up next: A two-game split