Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Greatest Pitched Game in Dodger History

(photo by Jon SooHoo @ http://dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com)
Mark it in your memory banks.  June 18, 2014 will go down in history as the greatest pitched game in the history of the team that arguably has had the greatest pitchers in the game.  The only way it won't be considered the greatest pitched game ever will be if Kershaw surpasses his own achievement one day.  Something I wouldn't put past him either.

As amazing as Kershaw's first no-hitter was last night, the efficiency of his use of pitches was as good as I've ever seen a pitcher have.  Fifteen strikeouts and only 107 pitches thrown.  That is even rarer than a no-htter.  In fact, a stat line like that is an absolute recipe for a no-hitter.  

Kershaw threw 74% of his pitches for strikes.  He completed the highest saber metric "game score" in Dodger history at "102."  Koufax never exceeded 101, Drysdale's highest was 98.  Some great pitchers in baseball history never reached the level of 102 that Kershaw achieved last night.  Some of those notables and their corresponding highest game scores were: Nolan Ryan (101), Randy Johnson (100), Bob Gibson (100), Pedro Martinez (98), Roger Clemens (99), Steve Carlton (98), Jim Palmer (93), and Fergie Jenkins (94).

(Note: The highest score in baseball history was in 1962, that 16 inning 1-0 shutout thrown by Juan Marichal, against Warren Spahn with a score of 112.  Spahn scored 102 that night too.  And I won't make light of both Marichall and Spahn's achievements that night, because it was 16 innings of work, the likes of which will never be seen again.  But it should be noted that it took 16 innings to achieve it.)

So when you read that Kershaw's no-hitter was the greatest pitched game in Dodger history, surpassing Koufax's perfecto in 1965, there won't be any argument from me.  Essentially it was a perfect game plus one, because Kershaw had to get 28 outs to complete the feat.  Chalking up 15 Ks while throwing only 107 pitches is about as efficient as a pitcher can get while punching out the majority of hitters.

That game was so rare, we'll probably never ever see the likes of it again.  So cherish it folks.  And go buy an LA Times and frame that sucker, because it's a true collectible.  It's not like you can do the same with ticket stubs.  (Isn't that right Stan Kasten?)


You can spell class with a "K" when you consider that Kershaw backed Hanley Ramirez who absolutely botched a throw to cost Kershaw the perfect game.  "That was a play that could have easily ruled a hit," said a lying Kershaw who had to know it was about as routine a play that there is.  Yes, Ramirez had to hustle on the play, as a fleet footed left handed batter hit that chopper to him, but there was time to make it with an accurate throw.  Hanley knew what was at stake and his throw was a panic job.

We all know Ramirez isn't much of a defensive shortstop these days, thus explaining why Triunfel was his defensive replacement in the last inning.  But in the end, Kershaw shook off the miscue and got down to the business to finishing off the gem.  Errors are errors and they can't be controlled.


Next start for Kershaw will be Tuesday, June 24 at Kansas City.  Mark that date on your calendars because if there was ever a player that could challenge Johnny Vander Meer's feat of two consecutive no-hitters, it is Clayton Kershaw.  I truly believe that Kershaw is the one pitcher that can throw three or four no-hitters in his career.  He has that kind of stuff.

(photo by Jon SooHoo @ http://dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com)

It was a very special night for A.J. Ellis too.  Catching his first no-hitter, and the one pitched by his best friend.  It was touching to hear him say that he was actually tearing up and getting emotional at the end.  Ellis is a guy that never was expected to arrive at the level he currently is.  His baseball career is that of a true underdog, and here he is, at the pinnacle calling that no-hitter.

It is my belief that Ellis will one day be the Dodgers manager.  A lot of things will need to fall into place, but I can really see it happening.  He has the temperament, patience and baseball knowledge to do so.  When Kershaw retires from the game and concludes his hall of fame career, it would be appropriate to see A.J. as his manager.

(photo by Jon SooHoo @ http://dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com)

You know what the scary art of all this is?  Clayton Kershaw is still only 26 years old.  We are looking at another 7-8 years of this dominance if he stays healthy.  Kershaw throws an assortment of pitches with precision that when his velocity tails off with age, he'll still have a repertoire that few other pitchers possess.


Does Zack Greinke have a no-hitter in him?  If he does, the Dodgers would become the first team in history to have three pitchers throw a no-hitter in a season.  There is still over 50% of the season remaining.  I'd say they have a realistic chance.


Not that anyone hasn't noticed, but the Dodgers are now just 4 games back.

1 comment:

  1. Good point Evan with AJ. The pitcher isn't alone when selecting and throwing pitches. He has a battery mate. Great job Clayton and good for AJ.