Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter against the Rockies last night, the 22nd in Dodgers history. He did by striking out 15, with 14 down on breaking balls. It was a masterful performance, one that ESPN says could rate as “the best individual pitching-performance of all time” due to a Game Score of 102 (second only to Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout but one-hit game).
Ah, yes — “individual performance.” For a game that is so often decided by just one or two guys, we can’t forget that this is a team sport. And Kershaw would have had a perfect game (a much rarer feat) if it wasn’t for Hanley Ramirez’s crappy throw in the 7th inning. Watch:
The baseball gods giveth, and they taketh away. On the other hand, Kershaw almost gave up a hit in that same inning, but third baseman Miguel Rojas was there to make the great play on the line and throw to first. Throw in the scoop from Adrian Gonzalez and you’ve got a bona fide game-saver (or, no-hitter saver).
So here’s a friendly reminder that no man is an island, even in baseball. Kershaw did serious work (15 batters didn’t even put the ball in play; no walks) but there were eight other guys with him on the field to help make this no-hitter happen. They also made a perfect game not happen, but whaddaya gonna do.