Clayton Kershaw sticks up for Hanley Ramirez by plunking Matt Holliday

Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch during the 4th inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night. As you might remember, Ramirez was hit by Cards starting pitcher Joe Kelly in the first game of the NLCS last year and suffered a broken rib. Clayton Kershaw had finally seen enough.

With LA leading 3-1, runners on first and third and two out, Ramirez was drilled in the shoulder by a fastball from Carlos Martinez that was thrown in a very dangerous area.

Kershaw plunked Matt Holliday in the backside with his first pitch in the next half inning.

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Clayton Kershaw understands why Mike Matheny chose Adam Wainwright as NL starter

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw has been the premier pitcher in MLB this season, but the reigning Cy Young Award winner was not selected as the NL starter for Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Target Field. Instead, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who is managing the All-Star team, chose his stud Adam Wainwright as the starter.

Rather than be angry or bitter over the decision, Kershaw said he understands Matheny’s choice.

“I kind of assumed [it would happen],” Kershaw said of Matheny’s choice via the OC Register’s Bill Plunkett. “Adam had best first half. It’s his manager. You’re not going to not pick your guy.”

He’s absolutely right. Matheny has to reward his guy in this case, and it’s not like picking Wainwright is a stretch; he is deserving of the honor.

Though Kershaw through a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts and had a streak of 41 consecutive scoreless innings just before the break, Wainwright’s numbers have been outstanding as well. Waino is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA and 0.83 WHIP and has pitched more than 42 fewer innings than Wainwright, though he has 11 more strikeouts than the Cardinals ace.

Kershaw has been the hottest pitcher, but Wainwright has done more. He is fully deserving of the honor. And credit to Kershaw for having a good attitude about things. There’s a reason why they say Kershaw is just as good of a guy off the field as on it.

It’s also nice that Wainwright completely appreciates the honor.

“Just an overwhelming sense of pride and achievement,” Wainwright said when describing how he felt upon being told the news by his manager during an interview with ESPN’s Buster Olney. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Something I’ve been kind of jealous of other people that got to do that. I can remember a lot of those pitchers who started the All-Star Game, so to be on that list is pretty special.”

Clayton Kershaw threw probably the most dominant no-hitter ever

Clayton Kershaw no-hitter

Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday threw his first career no-hitter and was a Hanley Ramirez error away from pitching a perfect game. He didn’t walk a batter and he struck out 15. He only threw 107 pitches while achieving the shutout.

When it’s all said and done, that will go down as probably the most dominant no-hitter of all time.

The Dodgers’ two-time Cy Young Award winner achieved a game score of 102 for his outing. Game Score is a metric invented by Bill James that measures the dominance of a pitcher’s outing, and it’s one of my favorite statistics to evaluate starting pitchers. Here’s how game score is calculated:

“Start with 50 points. Add 1 point for each out recorded, (or 3 points per inning). Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th. Add 1 point for each strikeout. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed. Subtract 1 point for each walk.”

According to ESPN Stats and Info, Kershaw’s 102 game score is the second-highest game score in the last 100 years. Only Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game, which was a 1-hitter, was higher (he got a 105). Kershaw did not allow a hit.

Kershaw’s 15 strikeouts were also the third-highest ever in a no-hitter, ranking behind Nolan Ryan, who struck out 17 and 16 in separate no-hitters, and tying with Ryan (again), Don Wilson and Warren Spahn.

A couple of other great tidbits about the no-hitter: the Dodgers have 22 in franchise history, which leads MLB. Also, the 24 days between Kershaw and Josh Beckett’s no-hitters is the shortest span between no-hitters by pitchers from the same team.

9 IP 0 hits 0 runs 0 walks 15 strikeouts. Dang.

Clayton Kershaw’s wife Ellen seemed pretty confident about the no-hitter

Ellen Kershaw Clayton wife

If there was one person in the stands at Dodger Stadium Wednesday who seemed more confident than everyone else that Clayton Kershaw would complete the no-hitter, it was probably the southpaw’s wife, Ellen, who was sitting in the front row.

The Dodgers’ TV feed kept flashing to Ellen in the stands during the last few innings of her husband’s no-hit bid, and each time she seemed more optimistic and confident about her husband finishing it off than nervous.

Take for instance the photo at the top. That was someone else making the funny nervous face; Ellen is on the right wearing the yellow, looking calm as heck. Maybe that’s because she’s seen her baller of a husband shut down opposing hitters for years.

9 innings, 0 hits, 0 walks, 15 strikeouts and only an error shy of a perfect game. What a great outing by Clayton Kershaw.

Ellen and Clayton, by the way, are high school sweethearts and have been married since 2010.

Clayton Kershaw loses perfect game on Hanley Ramirez error (Video)

Hanley Ramirez Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw had a perfect game going through six innings against the Colorado Rockies Wednesday, but he lost it when Hanley Ramirez made a throwing error on a chopper that allowed Corey Dickerson to reach base.

Dickerson was leading off the inning and chopped a 2-1 pitch to Ramirez, who made a wild throw up the line that went past Adrian Gonzalez and allowed Dickerson to reach second. It was a clear error by Hanley and was immediately scored as such.

Kershaw escaped the inning without allowing a hit or run, keeping the no-hitter intact. It’s too bad Hanley couldn’t make the play, because that was a pretty routine ball for an MLB shortstop and it would have given Kershaw a great chance at history. At least the two-time Cy Young winner was able to lock down the no-hitter.

Nice going, Hanley.

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers reportedly agree to $215 million contract extension

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw is getting paid. A lot of money.

The southpaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed on a 7-year, $215 million contract extension, according to ESPN LA’s Ramona Shelburne. Kershaw, 25, just completed his sixth season in the bigs. He has gone 77-46 with a 2.60 career ERA, and he has won the Cy Young Award in two of the past three seasons.

The Dodgers were working to sign Kershaw to a long-term extension all season. They reportedly offered him a lifetime-type deal that would have paid him over $300 million, but Kershaw supposedly was hesitant to sign for that many years. This contract will allow Kershaw the ability to opt out after five years, according to Shelburne.

At over $30 million per season and $215 million overall, Kershaw will now be the highest-paid pitcher in history in both total money and average annual value. It’s hard to say he’s not deserving on it based on what he’s done, but there are definitely questions about whether he’ll be able to make it through the whole contract.

Kershaw has thrown at least 227 innings each of the past three seasons, including 259 innings last season (adding in the playoffs). At this rate, the dude’s arm is going to fall off before long.

Vince McMahon sending Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw Cy Young championship belts

Vince McMahon power walkDetroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took home the Cy Young Awards for their respective leagues on Thursday. Thanks to Vince McMahon, the best is yet to come.

After Scherzer and Kershaw were officially announced as winners, Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account sent out mock-ups of WWE-style championship belts with their names and achievements on them. McMahon caught wind of it and apparently like the idea, so he claims he is going to have the belts made and send them to Scherzer and Kershaw.

Just when the two aces thought their day couldn’t get any better, the WWE boss comes along and provides the “pinch me” moment. It’s a great day to be a Cy Young Award winner.

H/T The Big Lead