Clayton Kershaw was back on the mound Tuesday for his first start since arguably the most dominating no-hit performance in MLB history.
In his historic start, Kershaw struck out 15 batters without issuing a walk, which set an MLB record in terms of no-hitters. Any thoughts of a consecutive no-hitter were quickly dashed when Eric Hosmer smacked a one-out single to left in the first inning.
While Kershaw wouldn’t make MLB history, his encore was nonetheless impressive. Kershaw shutout the Kansas City Royals in eight innings, limiting them to six hits while racking up eight strikeouts.
For plenty of pitchers, that stat line would read as an impressive night of work. However for Kershaw, winner of two Cy Young awards, his assessment of the night was room for improvement, via ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
Fastball command was kind of all over the place. It just wasn’t going where I wanted it to. Erratic.”
With the win Kershaw moved to 5-0 in the month of June. He’s gone at least seven innings in each start, with the lone exception coming June 8 in a rain-shortened win over the Colorado Rockies.
The lefty went five innings in rainy weather and was credited with a five-inning complete game. Kershaw’s season got off to a slow start after he was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career due to inflammation in his back.
Kershaw missed five weeks and was 2-2 in May as he worked to find his rhythm on the mound. One of the losses came at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who put up seven runs on Kershaw in a rocky second inning. Since that point, Kershaw has allowed seven runs across seven starts.
The left-handers next test will come in an NLCS rematch with the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday.
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter