Best pitch from every inning of Kershaw's incredible no-hitter
Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter against Colorado was one of the greatest pitching performances in MLB history. A look back at the best pitch Kershaw threw in each inning.
With 15 K's and no hits allowed over 107 pitches, Clayton Kershaw delivers one of the game's greatest pitching performances.
Victor Decolongon / Getty Images North America
By Erik Malinowski
To anyone with a basic comprehension of baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw delivered one of the game's best pitching performances when he no-hit the Colorado Rockies Wednesday night with 15 strikeouts and no walks. He was, quite literally, unhittable, and looking back at some of his best pitches in the game it becomes clear early on that on this particular night the Rockies had zero chance of victory.
Kershaw was able to keep the Rockies off-balance from the opening batter by mixing speeds and locations but also by falling into a successful pitch pattern that Colorado never could figure out: A big hook away to right-handed batters, a well-timed sinker to left-handers and a vicious fastball up when he needed to remind hitters that he was Clayton Kershaw.
Here's a look at the best pitch that Kershaw threw in each inning. (Warning: May be an overwhelming display of pitching excellence, could cause fainting.)
First inning: Corey Dickerson
An 85-mph curveball, up high and away but still in the zone to the lefty Dickerson. The pitch dips down at the end ever so slightly, and Dickerson is (as many batters were on this night) utterly helpless.
Second inning: Wilin Rosario
Kershaw set up Rosario with a 92-mph fastball low and in on his hands that was fouled off. The next pitch — a slick 73-mph curveball on the outside corner — turned Rosario into the night's second of many strikeouts.
Third inning: Kyle Parker
Coming into this game, Kershaw had six nine-strikeout outings this season, but it was clear from pitches like this that mark would be shattered by night's end. Parker could do nothing against this 94-mph fastball up and slightly away.
Kershaw used this exact same two-strike pitch to get Troy Tulowitzki to ground out harmlessly in the first. Parker, though, simply could not make contact.
Fourth inning: Dickerson
There's a pattern emerging here. Dickerson would go down for the second time, weakly grounding back to the mound on an 86-mph slider up, but it was this devastating 73-mph curve that set up the out. Dickerson's right hand falling to his side in capitaulation would not be his most humbling moment of the game, either.
Fifth inning: Rosario
Poor, poor Rosario. That 87-mph sinker is so tantalizing coming in to right-handed batters ... before it completely falls off the map. The 73-mph changeup that prefaced this pitch — and barely missed the strikeout — was not fair, and this pitch was downright criminal. Kershaw had only seven strikeouts at this point, but he was also getting warmed up.
Sixth inning: Parker
After two 92-mph fastballs up and away that Parker could do nothing with, Kershaw tossed him his filthy 75-mph breaking ball right down the middle. It is at this point in the game that words start to fail you.
Seventh inning: Rosario
After fouling off an 87-mph fastball, Rosario went down for the third time in the game while freezing in the face of this 74-mph curve that dips back over the plate low. As unhittable a pitch to right-handed batters as they come.
Eighth inning: Josh Rutledge
Rutledge was the only Rockies hitter who had any sort of consistent contact against Kershaw, and he was the only starting position player to not strike out as of this point in the game. He roped the pitch before this down the left-field line, but it was foul.
Kershaw then dropped this 75-mph hook for his 100th pitch and 14th strikeout of the night, a new career-high. Eight no-hit innings were in the books.
Ninth inning: Dickerson
Kershaw retired each of the first two hitters in the ninth on a single pitch but would ring up one more batter to close out his masterpiece. Dickerson, the night's first victim, was also its last, thanks to this 87-mph sinker.
Video via SportsNet Los Angeles
Erik Malinowski was a mediocre catcher on a second-rate Pennsylvania Little League team, but follow him anyway on Twitter at @erikmal and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.