Clayton Kershaw was dominant again last night, even though he gave up a run for the first time since the third inning of their June 13th game against the Diamondbacks.
Kershaw gave up a solo home run to Chase Headley in the sixth inning against the Padres last night to end the streak. He came within 18.1 innings of tying the major league record set by fellow Dodger Orel Hershiser in 1988.
The 41 inning streak was the longest in the majors since Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks went for 42 straight scoreless innings in 2007. It tied Kershaw with Luis Tiant for the fifth longest streak of the expansion era (since 1961). The ones that had longer streaks? How about Bob Gibson (47) and Don Drysdale (59) besides Hershiser. Both of them are in the Hall of Fame.
The 2-1 win over the Padres gave Kershaw wins in eight straight starts. He gave up just three hits along with the one run while striking out 11. This was his third double digit strikeout game off the season, all of which have come in his last five starts.
It is not a stretch to say that Kershaw is in the most dominant stretch of his career right now. He is 9-1 with a 0.97 ERA since his implosion against the Diamondbacks on May 17th, when he gave up seven runs in just 1.2 innings.
Kershaw also became just the third pitcher in the last century to win eight straight starts in the same season while striking out seven. The others were Sandy Koufax in 1966, and Juan Marichal in 1967.
The Dodger ace was selected to his fourth straight All Star game, and will likely be the starting pitcher for the National League on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.