Until the sixth inning of last night's game against the Padres, Clayton Kershaw hadn't allowed a run since June 13. The Dodgers lefty spun one of the greatest nine-inning games ever pitched in his June 18 no-hitter against the Rockies, and then just continued to reel off scoreless gems against the Royals, Cardinals, and Rockies. Before last night's game, Kershaw had lowered his ERA to 1.85, which puts his ERA since the beginning of 2011 at 2.16. It's the kind of run you normally associate with names like Koufax, Maddux, and Martinez, and it's happening right now, before our eyes.
The streak came to an end at 41.2 IP, when he gave up a solo homer to Chase Headley in the sixth inning Thursday night. It didn't seem to unsettle anything; Kershaw went the distance for a 2-1 Dodgers win and his third complete game of the season. Maybe this is just the beginning of a new scoreless streak.
This one was good for third all-time in Dodgers history, behind Orel Hershiser (59) and Don Drysdale (58). But Kershaw struck out 50 batters over his run, compared to Hershiser's 38 and Drysdale's 45. Some other eye-popping stats: Over Kershaw's scoreless streak, he walked just six batters, and opponents held a .122 batting average against him.
You really have no reason not to watch Kershaw. Near-flawless mechanics, a high strikeout rate, and a desire to never come out of a game... what's not to love, unless you're a fan of another NL West team?