Six Years Ago Today: What You May Not Know About Clayton Kershaw’s Historic No-Hitter

The longest no-hitter drought in Dodgers’ franchise history was from Hideo Nomo’s in September, 1996 to Josh Beckett’s in May, 2014 (17 years and 250s days). Not even a month after Beckett, on June 18, Clayton Kershaw recorded what is now the shortest no-hitter drought.

What makes Kershaw’s no-hitter even more historic is the fact that he struck out 15 batters. No other Dodgers’ pitcher who accomplished the no-hit feat has ever struck out that many hitters.

Kershaw’s line that night six years ago vs. the Colorado Rockies was stellar and nearly perfect. He went all nine innings, allowed no hits, no walks and struck out 15 on 107 pitches.

The only blemish against Kershaw wasn’t his fault at all. The reason he faced 28 batters instead of 27 was because of a Hanley Ramirez error in the top of the seventh. By all accounts, it was a routine ground ball. Had the Dodgers’ shortstop made a clean throw to Adrian Gonzalez at first, we’d be talking about a perfect game for Kershaw.

If this was a perfect game, it would have been the second one in Dodgers’ history. The first and only one, of course, was Sandy Koufax in 1965. In fact, Koufax threw the first four Los Angeles Dodgers’ no-hitters after the team moved from Brooklyn in 1958.

Before Kershaw struck out Rockies’ outfielder Corey Dickerson to secure history in the ninth, he got utility man Charlie Culberson to fly out to right for the second out. That’s significant because Culberson would later play for the Dodgers from 2016-2017. He also famously hit a walk-off homer in 2016, on Vin Scully’s final home game behind the mic to win the NL West for the Dodgers against, you guessed it, the Rockies.

For Kershaw, June 18 will always be a memorable date in a 2014 season of remarkable accomplishments, which saw the Dodgers’ ace win the Cy Young and MVP awards.

The only Dodgers’ no-hitter since Kershaw’s was the first ever combined no-hitter in franchise history in May of 2018. That game was played in Monterrey, Mexico and the pitchers were Walker Buehler (6.0 IP), Tony Cingrani (1.0 IP), Yimi Garcia (1.0 IP) and Adam Liberatore (1.0 IP). The team they no-hit was the San Diego Padres, the only MLB franchise yet to be on the positive side of a no-hitter.

Jake Reiner is a writer and contributor for Dodgers LowDown and a reporter for KCBS/KCAL. Follow him on twitter @Reiner_Jake