Best pitching performance ever.
I don’t mean this month or this year, I mean ever. As in the entire history of baseball.
Impossible to prove? Maybe, but not to argue.
And I’m arguing that Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter against the Rockies on Wednesday night was the most dominating performance baseball has ever known. There have been games when pitchers had more strikeouts, but never has anyone thrown a no-hitter, struck out 15 and not walked a single batter.
There have been 284 no-hitters in baseball history and Nolan Ryan is the only other pitcher to throw one with at least 15 strikeouts. He did it three times, but walked four, eight and two in the no-hitters.
Kershaw never gave the Rockies a chance Wednesday. He kept throwing strike after strike. He struck out 15 and needed only 107 pitches to do it. That’s absolutely mind-boggling.
Listen, the Rockies are a good-hitting team, but they were a deer in headlights. Kershaw had his curve and slider working, and was throwing his fastball at 94-95 mph.
“That’s probably the best combination he’s had of his slider and curveball working on the same night,” said catcher A.J. Ellis. “When you got those things going, nights like this are possible.”
This was the 12th no-hitter thrown in Los Angeles Dodgers history (22nd in Dodgers history). Sandy Koufax threw four no-hitters, but in his perfect game he struck out 14.
Yeah, it was a perfect game. But you can’t fault Kershaw because his defense committed an error behind him.
Kershaw was economical and dominating. He went to a three-ball count with only one batter all night, Josh Rutledge in the second inning. Only 11 other batters saw two-ball counts. And when he could smell the no-hitter, he was extraordinary. He did not throw one ball to any of the final six batters.
It was something to behold, but then the best ever should be.