Tuesday marked Clayton Kershaw bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium, the five-year anniversary of his first and only career no-hitter, and another opportunity to author a dominant performance against the San Francisco Giants.
He entered 22-11 with a 1.72 ERA and 337 strikeouts over 46 career games (45 starts). That already made Kershaw the only pitcher with at least 300 strikeouts and a sub-2.00 ERA against a single opponent since the earned run became an official stat in 1913.
Kershaw allowed just three hits, collected six strikeouts and lowered his career ERA against the Giants to 1.68. He went seven innings for a sixth time this season, including in three of his past four starts.
The scoreless effort was his first of the year but an 11th quality start in 12 outings. Overall, it marked an 18th straight quality start against the Giants at Dodger Stadium, setting a National League record, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Kershaw took the mound tied with Greg Maddux, who made 17 consecutive quality starts against the St. Louis Cardinals from 1990-98. Furthermore, the Dodgers’ ace was already the only pitcher all-time with 40 starts in his first 45 outings against a single team.
Kershaw lost a perfect game on a one-out walk in the second inning, then a no-hitter the batter after. He nonetheless got through seven shutout innings to preserve an early 2-0 lead before the Dodgers could break the game open.
The Giants had just two baserunners reach second base — in the second and seventh innings. The first instance came on a walk and base hit, and the next was due to a Kevin Pillar double with two outs.
Outside of that, Kershaw’s only brush with potential trouble came in the sixth inning when Cody Bellinger robbed Tyler Austin of a possible RBI and extra-base hit by making a leaping catch at the wall in right field.
Kershaw improved to 7-1 this season and lowered his ERA to 2.85. The Dodgers have won 11 of his 12 starts this season, with the lone defeat coming in a 2-1 loss to the Giants at Oracle Park on June 7.
That snapped the Dodgers’ stretch of winning 17 consecutive regular-season starts by Kershaw. The streak dated back to August of last season.