Last night, Clayton Kershaw led the Dodgers to a 1-0 victory by pitching the first complete game of his career. Kershaw needed to pitch a shutout because not only could the Dodgers muster just one run, but they also had one measly hit. The hit didn't even lead to their run! It was the sixth time since 1920 the Dodgers have won a game in which they amassed one hit, or less. Here's a look at the previous five:
June 28, 2008: Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo held the Dodgers without a hit at Dodger Stadium, but thanks to two errors, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly, the Dodgers scored the one run they needed for the ultra-rare no-hit victory
September 9, 1965: Bob Hendley of the Cubs gave up just one hit, a double to Lou Johnson, but like last night, the double didn't lead to the Dodgers' lone run. Unfortunately for Hendley, the Cubs ran into Sandy Koufax at his absolute best, as he threw a perfect game with 14 strikeouts, including striking out the final six batters with almost all fastballs, with catcher Johnny Roseboro famously telling Koufax, who was hurting when he threw his curve, to "just go with the heat, babe." This game set an MLB record for fewest combined hits by both teams.
May 15, 1965: A few months before Koufax's perfect game, Dick Ellsworth of the Cubs took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, with the Cubs leading 1-0. Jeff Torborg reached on an error to begin the eighth inning, and Dick Tracewski reached on a fielder's choice. One out later, pinch hitter Al Ferrara delivered the Dodgers' only hit of the game, and he made it count with a three-run home run for a 3-1 Dodger win.
July 1, 1951: Two well-timed walks before Pee Wee Reese's triple made the Dodgers 2-0 victors at Ebbets Field against Russ Meyer and the Phillies. Don Newcombe pitched a shutout for the victory. I'd like to say this loss drove the Philadelphia hurler into a life of film-making, but sadly, he's not the same guy.
September 12, 1950: The Dodgers got their hit and, thanks to a passed ball, their first run in the fourth inning against Ewell Blackwell of the Reds. Heading into the eighth inning, the game was tied at 1-1, but the Dodgers scored two more unearned runs thanks to a hit-by-pitch, a walk, an error, and a wild pitch, giving Carl Erskine a 3-1 win at Ebbets Field.
While last night's one-hit victory for the Dodgers was their sixth since 1920, it was their first during that time on the road, which makes Clayton Kershaw's shutout all the more rare.