Last night’s game between the Dodgers and Blue Jays turned into a blowout win for Los Angeles, and a late-August game between one team with a 19-game division lead and another that’s 14 games under .500 wouldn’t normally be worth our attention. But this game had something special, which mattered far more than the final score or the fates of the two teams involved. It had Bo Bichette and Clayton Kershaw going right at each other.
Kershaw and Bichette saw each other three times. In the top of the first inning, on the second pitch of the game, Bichette uncoiled that that gorgeous swing of his and took Kershaw deep to left:
The two met again in the third inning, and this time Kershaw got the better of Bichette, striking him out on three pitches. More than that, he gave the rookie his first-ever taste of the famous Clayton Kershaw curveball:
Bichette, charmingly, was delighted by this, and couldn’t hide his smile after getting buckled by the curve. He then went into the dugout to giddily ask his teammates if they had seen what Kershaw just did to him.
Bichette faced Kershaw for the third time in the sixth inning, and once again banged one over the left-field fence:
This was the first multi-homer game of Bichette’s career, and the first time a rookie has ever taken Kershaw deep twice in the same game. Afterwards, Bichette said he felt more adrenaline coming into this game than he did during his MLB debut, simply because of the chance to face Kershaw. From Sportsnet:
“I’ll be honest, I think today I had more – I don’t want to say chills, because it wasn’t chills – I didn’t really feel my body, I had a lot of adrenaline going on, way more than my debut,” said Bichette.
“Being in Dodger Stadium, facing Kershaw, I was pretty amped up. I’ll always remember this day. It’s a pretty cool thing. I don’t take it for granted. You can talk about him being one of the best ever. So it was really cool for me.”
This is basically the ideal outcome of any ultimately insignificant regular season baseball game. Kershaw got his win and passed Sandy Koufax on the Dodgers’ all-time win list, Bichette got to experience the thrill of dominating and being dominated by one of the best pitchers in history, and everyone went home happy.