The Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers have a rich franchise history, but when it comes to the nearly-impossible feat of perfect games, only Sandy Koufax has thrown one.
The New York Yankees have the all-time MLB lead with four perfect games. They’re followed by the Chicago White Sox having three perfect games; while the Cleveland Indians (Guardians), Oakland Athletics and Philadelphia Phillies are tied for third place in MLB history with two perfect games each.
Overall, there have been 24 perfect games in MLB history. Included in that was Don Larsen famously accomplishing the feat against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
The first belongs to Lee Richmond of the Worcester Worcesters, when he didn’t allow a baserunner on June 12, 1880. The most recent perfect game thrown was by the Yankees’ Domingo Germán against the Oakland Athletics on June 28, 2023.
Prior to that point, MLB’s last perfect game was by former Seattle Mariners ace Félix Hernández, who did so against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012.
Dodgers perfect game
Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 9, 1965, to outduel Bob Hendley.
The Dodgers broke through in the fifth inning, sparked by Lou Johnson drawing a leadoff walk. After he was sacrificed into scoring position, Johnson attempted to steal third base.
The throw sailed into left field, and Johnson scored the Dodgers’ lone run. Hendley allowed just one hit in a performance that understandably is overshadowed.
Koufax finished his perfect game with 14 strikeouts, including the final six batters faced. It was the first — and only — perfect game of Koufax’s career, although he had three no-hitters under his belt to that point.
Koufax’s 14 strikeouts are the most in a perfect game in MLB history.
Clayton Kershaw’s near perfect game
Clayton Kershaw has twice come close to throwing a perfect game over his career with the Dodgers. The first was a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies on June 18, 2014.
If not for a Hanley Ramirez error, Kershaw would have joined Koufax as the only Dodgers pitchers to throw a perfect game.
Kershaw’s next brush with history came April 13, 2022, when he was perfect over seven innings against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The start was Kershaw’s first of the regular season, and due to not being fully stretched out along with coming off an injury and shortened Spring Training, he was removed by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts at 80 pitches.
Ryan Pepiot’s near perfect game
On September 7, 2023, Ryan Pepiot gave his best in completing a second perfect game in Dodgers franchise history.
Pepiot was aided by strong defensive plays from Miguel Rojas and Amed Rosario as he retired the first 20 batters faced against the Miami Marlins.
Pepiot wound up losing his perfect game on Josh Bell’s two-out single in the seventh inning. The outing nevertheless was Pepiot’s longest of his career.
Including their time in Brooklyn, there have been 26 Dodgers no-hitters. Koufax holds the franchise record with four no-hitters (one being a perfect game), and the Dodgers most recent no-no was a combined effort started by Walker Buehler on May 4, 2018.