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Game Of The Year: Clayton Kershaw's First Career Shutout Gives Dodgers Win Over Giants

The Dodgers have won six games since 1920 in which they collected one hit or less.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a subpar season in 2010, but Clayton Kershaw provided many highlights, including his first career shutout, on September 14 in San Francisco, a game in which the Dodgers only had one hit.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had a subpar season in 2010, but Clayton Kershaw provided many highlights, including his first career shutout, on September 14 in San Francisco, a game in which the Dodgers only had one hit.

The 2010 season for the Los Angeles Dodgers was mired in disappointment, as they followed up back-to-back NLCS appearances with an 80-82 record. There weren't a ton of bright spots, but most of the shining moments came from young ace Clayton Kershaw. The 22-year old had his finest season to date, winning 13 games while posting a 2.91 ERA, striking out 212 batters in 204 1/3 innings. The game of the year for the Dodgers came on September 14, the first shutout of Kershaw's career.

The Tuesday night game at AT&T Park in San Francisco typified the second half for the Dodgers, in that they got outstanding starting pitching and little to no offense. On this night, the Dodgers were already out of the race, 10½ games behind the San Diego Padres with 18 games remaining on the schedule. However, it felt like a playoff atmosphere in San Francisco, with the Giants' crowd facing their rivals and fighting for their postseason future as well.

The Dodgers only got one hit on the night, a second-inning single by Matt Kemp. Much like the perfect game of Sandy Koufax on September 9, 1965, the Dodgers only hit of the game didn't even factor in the scoring. The Dodgers supported Kershaw with an unearned run in the sixth inning, courtesy of a hit-by-pitch, a sacrifice, two walks, and a fielding error by shortstop (and future Dodger) Juan Uribe. That one run (and one hit) were enough for Kershaw, who allowed four hits and didn't walk a single batter on his night, striking out four. The game was just the sixth game since 1920 in which the Dodgers won while collecting one hit or less. It was the first complete game and the first shutout for Kershaw, which vaulted this game above some others that just missed the cut.

Honorable Mention

  • May 9 (Dodgers 2, Rockies 0): This was the best pitching matchup of the year, and probably a better game from Kershaw, who pitched eight scoreless innings and didn't even allow a ball to be hit in the outfield until the eighth inning. The Dodgers handed Ubaldo Jimenez his first loss of the season.
  • April 18 (Dodgers 2, Giants 1): Another Kershaw gem (one run in seven innings) was capped off by two-run pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning, giving the Dodgers a come-from-behind win at home.
  • August 30 (Dodgers 3, Phillies 0): Hiroki Kuroda came within five outs of a no-hitter, providing a glimmer of hope on the same day that Manny Ramirez was claimed off waivers by the White Sox and the McCourt divorce trial started. Kuroda even came through at the plate, getting his first hit of the season, which snapped an 0-for-45 streak at the plate.
  • August 3 (Dodgers 2, Padres 1): After allowing a first inning home run and a single to the first three batters he faced, Ted Lilly proceeded to retire the next 20 batters in his Dodger debut.