Clayton Kershaw

Before the first game of the Freeway Series, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts joked that he was hoping to hear from Braves manager Brian Snitker on Friday, telling him that Clayton Kershaw would be the National League’s starter in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Kershaw, on the other hand, has never thrown a pitch in the Midsummer Classic. In his long and distinguished career, it is one of the few things lacking. Despite this, Kershaw had the 44,648 fans in Angel Stadium convinced by the conclusion of the night that he was going to achieve another first.

It was the second time this season that Kershaw came close to a perfect game, but he fell six outs short against the Angels on Friday thanks to a leadoff double by Luis Rengifo.

Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw lifted after seven perfect innings - Los Angeles  Times

The seven-inning shutout was Kershaw’s second in as many seasons. This one happened in his first start in the season, when he hadn’t yet built up his strength, against the Twins. He became the only pitcher in the last 40 years to have a perfect game through at least seven innings twice in the same season.

There is no doubt in Kershaw’s mind that he wants to play in the World Series. The way everyone performed tonight, I think it would have been a lot of fun for everybody.” If this had been the case, it would have been a huge team-perfect game. I’m sorry, but it was a good night all the same”

There is no doubt in Kershaw’s mind that he wants to play in the World Series. The way everyone performed tonight, I think it would have been a lot of fun for everybody.” If this had been the case, it would have been a huge team-perfect game. I’m sorry, but it was a good night all the same”

Clayton Kershaw

 

It’s hard to fault Kershaw’s defense for the few slip-ups he made. With two outs in the fourth, Justin Turner made a beautiful diving catch and a powerful throw to first base to keep Michael Stefanic from scoring on a double down the line.

Roberts said he was aware of Kershaw’s potential for history even as early as the first inning.

Roberts remarked, “You can sense” it. There was nothing he was battling tonight.” He worked quickly and well. There was no doubt that he would take the opportunity to prove himself. In the end, it came down to whether or not we could get lucky, but Rengifo made a terrific swing at it.”

Around the sixth inning, the moment became real for Kershaw and his teammates. In the fifth, Hanser Alberto snagged a Jared Walsh liner deep in the shift to save a single for the A’s. Stefanic was again denied by Trea Turner at short in the seventh, but this time it was Turner’s turn to shine.

A “classic” effort from Kershaw, in the words of Justin Turner. His pitches worked, he was within his limit, and we had an excellent sense about how the game was progressing at that point in the middle of the game.” That right there was supremacy.”

For the third time in the seventh inning, Kershaw faced the Angels’ starting lineup, which proved to be the most difficult obstacle for him to overcome. When Kershaw struck out American League MVP Shohei Ohtani with a trademark curveball, the crowd went wild. The atmosphere at the ballpark grew tenser with each out. Dodger supporters were well-represented in Anaheim, as they usually are.

Even Angels fans knew at one point that they were witnessing one of the greatest pitchers of all time trying to accomplish something only 23 other Major Leaguers have done.

If Kershaw’s injuries had been more severe, he might have decided to retire from baseball. He is still one of the greatest pitchers in the Major Leagues despite not picking up a baseball until January as part of his recovery.

When the Midsummer Classic comes to Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, Kershaw will have a chance to put on a show.

In the real world, Austin Barnes called him a rival. There is no doubt in my mind about his ability to perform at his best when the pressure is on. Of all the things you can do. That’s what sets him apart from other pitchers, in my opinion.

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