Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw extended his scoreless streak to 28 innings in Sunday's win over the St. Louis Cardinals, marking the fifth-longest such streak in franchise history, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
Kershaw was even more dominant that usual Sunday afternoon, striking out 13 batters over seven innings of shutout ball. He hasn't allowed a run since June 13, when he surrendered just one in the third inning of a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He followed that outing with a 15-K no-hitter versus the Colorado Rockies on June 18, then held the Kansas City Royals scoreless over eight innings on June 24. Sunday's start brought the scoreless streak to 28 innings, and Kershaw will have the chance to add more Friday in Colorado.
Thus far, his streak falls short of just four others in Dodgers history, with Sandy Koufax (33 IP), Don Sutton (35), Don Drysdale (58) and Orel Hershiser (59) all ahead of the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, according to Plunkett. Of that group, only Hershiser isn't in the Hall of Fame, and even he had a storied career that included 202 victories and the still-standing MLB record of 59 straight scoreless innings.
Kershaw is on track to join Koufax and Co. in the Hall of Fame one day, thanks in large part to stretches of dominance like the one he put together in June. The 26-year-old lefty struck out 61 batters in six June starts, becoming the only Dodger besides Koufax to fan more than 60 in a single month, per Plunkett. Incredibly, Koufax struck out 61 or more batters in a month 12 different times.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Kershaw became just the fourth pitcher in MLB history with a 6-0 record, 50-plus strikeouts and a sub-1.00 ERA during one calendar month. Once again, the southpaw is in excellent company, alongside Randy Johnson, Justin Verlander and former Dodger Hideo Nomo.
Even for a franchise with a history full of aces, Kershaw sticks out as one of the best of the bunch, perhaps rivaled only by the legendary Koufax.