Clayton Kershaw didn’t get a chance to make his scheduled every-fifth-year start on July 8, but the two career starts he has made on this date have been excellent.
Kershaw started at home against the Cubs on July 8, 2010, trying to avenge a loss six weeks earlier at Wrigley Field. Kershaw only allowed an unearned run in six innings, but that was enough to get hung with the loss.
The lack of run support stung for a bit in this one, too. Kershaw allowed a pair of runs early, including a solo home run by Alfonso Soriano. a After allowing his second run, Kershaw retired his final 14 batters faced. But it was still 2-1 Chicago until the seventh, when Russell Martin singled and Rafael Furcal homered, giving Kershaw the lead.
From David Young’s game recap:
In one of the finest performances of his young career, Kershaw struck out 12 batters while walking none and completing eight innings with only 97 pitches, notching his ninth win of the season. Despite having perhaps his finest opportunity to end a game by shaking hands with the catcher, Kershaw was pulled for the ninth inning by manager Joe Torre in favor of closer Jonathan Broxton, who allowed only a two-out single while collecting his 19th save.
The Dodgers won, 3-2.
Another shortstop homered for the Dodgers in this one, a three-run shot by Jimmy Rollins, along with a two-run shot by catcher A.J. Ellis. It was more than enough for Kershaw, who kept the Phillies off the board, but not through lack of trying.
Philadelphia got eight hits off Kershaw, and he hit a batter. But the Phillies were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, including six strikeouts and two infield pop outs in those situations.
From my game recap:
Kershaw struck out 13 and walked none on the night, and leads the majors with 160 strikeouts on the season. Only Sandy Koufax (three times) had more strikeouts by a Dodgers pitcher before the All-Star break.
This was Kershaw’s 10th career shutout, and his 18th complete game.
So that’s 25 strikeouts and no walks in two July 8 starts for Kershaw. The Dodgers in their history only have 31 total games by a pitcher with 12 or more strikeouts and no walks. Ten by Kershaw (Sandy Koufax had six), including both of his starts on this day.
2010 (W, 9-4): 8 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 12 strikeouts
2015 (W, 6-6): 9 IP, 8 hits, 13 strikeouts
Up next: You might be surprised at this, but tomorrow features two more starts and two more wins for Kershaw