Yes, this applies to LeBron James’ triumphant return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. But Nike should let us dust off the phrase and slap it on Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw because, in short, he’s making his own version of history.
Kershaw took the mound Thursday night having not given up a run in 36 innings, dating back to June 13. That’s like six years ago in today’s Twitter-centric, short-term memory world. Hell, Spain was still a World Cup favorite the last time Kershaw gave up a run going into last night’s game.
A few other things happening in the sports universe when the streak began:
- The Los Angeles Kings had just WON THE STANLEY CUP!!!
- The Miami Heat went down 3-1 in the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs
- Donald Sterling hired PIs to dig up dirt on Adam Silver and other NBA higher-ups
Seems like a century ago, which goes to show the $215 million man’s dominance. How dominant, you ask? The streak included six straight starts of at least seven innings pitched, and averages of 3.6 batters faced and 1.3 strikeouts per inning over those starts.
Only 14 other pitchers have previously done or bested what Kershaw did (five in the expansion era). When Chase Headley teed off on a curveball in the sixth inning, the streak ended prematurely at 41, well short of Orel Hershiser’s record 59 innings in 1988. But the 26-year-old messed around and threw in a no-hitter to the mix–one error away from the 24th perfect game in MLB history.
The best part of the streak ending? Kershaw’s blasé reaction to the whole thing:
Classic Kershaw postgame: “I don’t really care about an innings streak or whatever. We’re not supposed to give up runs. That’s our job.”
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) July 11, 2014
The two-time NL Cy Young winner has his sights set on becoming the ninth pitcher to win a third. Take a gander at some of his stats, with overall MLB rank in parentheses:
Clayton Kershaw's money season
|BB+H per IP||0.830 (1)|
|K per 9 IP||11.772 (1)|
I guess Dodger Nation can live with a one-run, three-hit, eleven-strikeout complete game if we have to.