Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who threw his first career no-hitter on Wednesday, June 18th, has been named National League Player of the Week for the period ending June 22nd. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Kershaw was unhittable in his only start of the week, leading the Dodgers to an 8-0 victory and completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Facing the best-hitting team in the Majors, the three-time N.L. All-Star needed just 107 pitches (79 strikes) in 9.0 innings of work to earn his first career no-hitter and to improve to 7-2 on the season. Kershaw faced just one batter over the minimum in the outing and did not issue a walk while fanning 15 Rockies hitters. The only batter to reach base did so by way of an error to lead off the seventh inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 15 strikeouts were the most in Major League history by a pitcher that did not allow a runner to reach base via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch. The previous mark of 14 strikeouts in such a performance was shared by Nap Rucker (September 5, 1908), Sandy Koufax (September 9, 1965) and Matt Cain (June 13, 2012). In addition, the 15 strikeouts were tied for third-most overall in a no-hitter, and tied for the most by a left-hander, matching Hall of Famer Warren Spahn (15 on September 16, 1960). Kershaw's performance was the 22nd no-hitter in Dodgers franchise history, which is the most by any Major League club. It came just 24 days after his teammate Josh Beckett threw his first career no-hitter (5/25 vs. PHI), marking the shortest span between no-hitters by a team since Cincinnati's Johnny Vander Meer did it in consecutive starts on June 11 and 15, 1938 (Elias Sports Bureau). With the no-hitter, Kershaw saw his ERA dip to 2.52 (18 earned runs in 64.1 innings pitched) for the season. This is his fourth career Player of the Week honor, having previously won April 1-7, 2013; May 14-20, 2012; and June 20-26, 2011.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Kershaw's Dodger teammate Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 8 SO, 12.0 IP); Colorado's Corey Dickerson (.500, 11 H, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .955 SLG, .522 OBP); Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (.394, 13 H, 4 2B, HR, .667 SLG, .412 OBP); Philadelphia's Ryan Howard (.345, 6 R, 10 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI, .690 SLG, .441 OBP); Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez (.500, 9 R, 14 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .964 SLG, .517 OBP); David Wright (.444, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .815 SLG, .448 OBP) and Zack Wheeler (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO, 8 SO, 9.0 IP) of the New York Mets; and Washington's Rafael Soriano (0-0, 1.50 ERA, 4 SV, 6 SO, 5.0 IP).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Clayton Kershaw will be awarded a watch, courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.