The Dodgers pull Clayton Kershaw into the perfect game

Clayton Kershaw has won three National League Cy Young awards, one NL Player for Most Valuable Player and one World Series. He has thrown a goalless draw and has almost completed the Hall of Fame resume.

But he has never played a perfect game, and his best chance to accomplish this rare feat may have disappeared thanks to a manager’s decision, his age and a history of recent injuries, and perhaps the blockade imposed by the owner in the Major League, among other circumstances. Baseball has entered uncertainty this winter.

Dodgers 7, Twins 0 | Box Score | Jolasez-Jolas

Kershaw, 34, dominated the first half of the season, throwing 13 Minnesota Twins at seven innings and 80 on the field on a 38-degree cold day at Target Field in Minneapolis.

But his evening ended there. Coach Dave Roberts called left-back Alex Vesia to start the eighth inning and all thoughts of a perfect combined game – it would be the first of its kind – came to an end quickly, with a knockout when Gary Sánchez Twin caught the fifth of Vesia. enter the right field for a single.

They’ve been just 23 perfect games, and none since Seattle’s Félix Hernández played August 15, 2012 against Tampa Bay. Everything was aligned for the Minnesota Kershaw, not only to capture one more historical personal moment, but also to end the current drought. perfect games, the longest in MLB since 1968, when Catfish Hunter of Oakland played against the Twins, and in 1981, Len Barker of Cleveland throttled Toronto.

But these were achieved before the time of field counting and conservation tactics, and both Kershaws appeared ready to give the victim a chance for perfection. Kershaw told reporters he would “blame the blockade, accusing him of not receiving a ball for three months” outside the season, saying it was a “right decision”.

His age and the fact that Kershaw only made 22 starts last year and missed the entire season due to discomfort in his left forearm and elbow, and his past back problems in the past, have certainly also helped blame him. The Dodgers are adept at managing the health and workload of their players, and Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations and led by Roberts, prioritizes moves aimed at winning the World Series in the short term. the joy of a single moment or a single player.

To that end, Roberts probably has more experience than he wants in getting rid of pitchers in history, as this is the fourth time in his seven-year tenure as Dodgers manager that he has pulled a pitcher out of a perfect game or not. -hitter, including the only other period since at least 1901 He threw a pitcher after seven perfect innings, according to Stats Perform.

Robert had made the following decision:

  • Right-hander Ross Stripling on April 8, 2016, in San Francisco, on April 8, 2016, fired a seven-and-a-third-in-a-half inning before Roberts threw it after 100 pitches. Among other factors, with Stripling removed just two years after Tommy John’s surgery, Roberts, who was shaken loudly by San Francisco fans that night, called the decision “impossible.”

  • The Rich Hill left-hander, like Kershaw, was playing the perfect game when Robert threw. He made seven innings and threw 89 pitches five months after the Stripling game on September 10, 2016 in Miami. Hill was struggling with persistent blistering problems and Roberts was struggling to make ends meet and be effective by October, so he made an unprecedented decision to get rid of him. “I feel sick to my stomach,” Roberts said at the time. Hill, 42, now pitched in Boston.

  • Walker Buehler kicked off the third inning of the third major league game against San Diego on May 4, 2018 in Monterrey, Mexico. But seeing Buehler’s youth and rainy night, Roberts threw him out after 93 pitches and called. “It’s pretty empty.” Tony Cingrani, Yimi García and Adam Liberatore didn’t invent the Padres the rest of the way and, along with Buehler, made the team’s first combined.

But Kershaw, because of who he is and has done, is on a different level. If he had completed a perfect game, his legend would have been added and MLB would have presented a moment of all time.

Its slider was vintage, with 17 Twins swinging and crashing on a cold evening, probably reminiscent of historians remembering what the 1965 Dodgers won the 1965 World Series in Minnesota. Sandy Koufax of the Hall of Fame won Game 7 at Bloomington (Minn) Old Metropolitan Stadium in a short break. The thread that connects the two left-wingers goes hand in hand in Dodgers history: Kershaw and Koufax have developed a strong friendship and mutual admiration over the years.

The decision to unplug Kershaw’s potential momentum received strong criticism on the net. One notable attacker was Reggie Jackson, outside of the Hall of Fame. Jackson, who played in Hunter’s perfect game on the right field for athletics, expressed his surprise at Roberts ’decision on Twitter.

But Roberts, who has valued such decisions in the past, recently reminded us of the importance of calibrating pitching workloads. In October, mid-season shopping could not start since Max Scherzer started the National League Championship Series after starting one game against Atlanta and closing another against San Francisco in a division series after playing in the NL wildcard game in St. Louis. Against Louis.

As always, the Dodgers organize their calendar around October. And what happened to Kershaw in Minnesota on a Wednesday afternoon in April was just the latest example.

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