Has Clayton Kershaw ever thrown a perfect game?
The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled Clayton Kershaw after he pitched seven perfect innings, only two short of the first perfect game in MLB in ten years.
Clayton Kershaw was very close to pitching the first perfect game in Major League Baseball in ten years, when he was pulled by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was perfect in his season debut against the Minnesota Twins for seven innings when manager Dave Roberts sent in Alex Vesia to relieve him. The attempt at a perfect game ended just two batters later. Minnesota only had that one hit, the single that Vesia surrendered to Gary Sanchez, as they succumbed to Los Angeles 7-0.
Kershaw ‘would have loved to stay’
Kershaw had struck out 13 out of the 21 batters he faced when he was removed from the game, to the disappointment of the crowd. Although he was on his way to making history when he was pulled, he admitted that it was the right move to make. He had already thrown 80 pitches, 53 of them for strikes.
“As much as I would have wanted to do it, I’ve thrown 75 pitches in a sim game. I would have loved to stay, but bigger things,” according to the three-time Cy Young awardee, who has never thrown a perfect game during his time in MLB.
Kershaw easing back into action
Roberts was being cautious as Kershaw had a shortened spring training due to the MLB lockout, and is still building up the strength of his arm. The 34-year-old had missed part of the regular season and the whole postseason last year due to a left forearm injury.
He entered free agency for the first time last winter, but re-signed with the Dodgers on a one-year $17 million contract after the lockout ended.
There has only been one perfect game thrown in the history of the Dodgers, achieved back in 1965 by Sandy Koufax.
The last perfect game the league witnessed took place in 2012, when Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays.