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He’s a pitcher, but Clayton Kershaw says rash of no-hitters this year is ‘not good’

Clayton Kershaw pitches against the Angels
Clayton Kershaw says too many no-hitters are not good for baseball.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

As much as Clayton Kershaw would love to join the growing parade of pitchers who have thrown no-hitters this season, the Dodgers left-hander is not sure such mound dominance is what baseball needs right now.

“Well, it’s not good, I’ll tell you that,” Kershaw said after New York Yankees right-hander Corey Kluber became the sixth pitcher this season — and second in two days — to throw a nine-inning no-hitter Wednesday night.

“No-hitters are cool, and I have all the respect in the world for Corey Kluber and [Madison] Bumgarner and all those guys who have thrown no-hitters, but to have one happen every night is probably not good for the game. Fans want to see some hits, I get that, and some action, and not too many guys striking out.”

Kershaw, a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, has thrown one no-hitter in his career, on June 18, 2014, against Colorado. At the current rate, pitchers are on pace to shatter baseball’s record of seven no-hitters in a season, set in 1990 and equaled in 1991, 2012 and 2015.

Kluber shut down the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, one night after Detroit Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull, who lost a major league-high 17 games in 2019, no-hit the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.

Six weeks into the season, there have been seven no-hitters thrown, if you include Bumgarner’s seven-inning no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves on April 26. (No-hitters of less than nine innings are not considered official.)

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San Diego right-hander Joe Musgrove no-hit the Rangers on April 9. Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon no-hit the Cleveland Indians on April 14. Baltimore left-hander John Means no-hit the Mariners on May 5. Cincinnati left-hander Wade Miley no-hit the Indians on May 7.

Clayton Kershaw is solid for six innings as Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 for seventh win in past eight games.

Offense is down across the board this season. Teams have combined for a .236 batting average and 7.82 hits a game, which would be all-time lows, and 8.98 strikeouts per game, which would be an all-time high.

Home runs have decreased to 1.14 per game, down from a record 1.39 in 2019 and the lowest average per team per game since 2015 (1.01). The team average of 4.35 runs per game is the lowest since 2014 (4.07).

“I appreciate the attempts MLB has made [to deaden the baseball], but it seems like they’ve missed the mark so far,” Kershaw said. “Whatever the intention was with the new ball, it really hasn’t done anything. There might be fewer home runs, which I guess is what they want, but April was one of the worst hitting months in the history of the game.”

Signed after being released by the Tampa Bay Rays, Yoshi Tsutsugo made his debut in the Dodgers’ 9-1 win over Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.


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