Today, Kershaw completely dominated the Minnesota Twins, throwing seven perfect innings with 13 strikeouts.
He was unhittable, and he went after hitters in a way we hadn’t seen in a while.
However, he threw 80 pitches, so manager Dave Roberts, being his first start of the year, decided to play it safe and pull him from the game.
Roberts’ mind was probably on Kershaw’s forearm issues last season, an injury that limited him to 121.2 innings.
Vesia Couldn’t Keep The Perfection Going
The perfect game was still a possibility (and it would have been special in a lot of ways, since all 23 perfect games in MLB history were thrown individually), but Alex Vesia, the reliever who replaced Kershaw in the eighth inning, couldn’t keep up with Kershaw’s excellence.
“Gary Sanchez, the second hitter after Clayton Kershaw comes out of the game, breaks up the perfect game with a single,” Talkin’ Baseball tweeted, with the video of Sanchez lining a single to right-center field to break the magic.
Gary Sanchez, the second hitter after Clayton Kershaw comes out of the game, breaks up the perfect game with a single pic.twitter.com/DjGxi1V5Tx
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 13, 2022
It was certainly disappointing to see Kershaw leaving the field after seven innings of pure perfection.
He has won it all in his career in the majors: Cy Young awards, MVPs, World Series, all kinds of records, and even a no-hitter.
He still hasn’t been able to pitch a perfect game, though.
However, it’s also easy to understand Roberts’ decision, even if most fans disagree with it.
He is trying to preserve the health of his ace, with the intention of having him healthy and fresh for a hypothetical postseason run.
Every side has a strong argument, but in the end, the Dodgers, and Roberts, are prioritizing health over personal achievements.