In the aftermath of Clayton Kershaw’s near-pefect game Wednesday night, there have been misplaced opinions bandied about that the game was the best-pitched major league game ever, and information has also come to light that Kershaw has been thoroughly insulted by ABC late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
The Kimmel story is really hard to understand, as the overrated comedian makes his TV home in the heart of Dodgertown. It has now been confirmed in the media that Kershaw had been booked for Thursday’s show prior to throwing the no-hitter, and then
|unceremoniously bumped in favor of a group of out-of-towners from San Antonio. To make matters worse, the show went on without Kershaw despite his masterpiece, and he has not been rescheduled. Kershaw has apparently laughed off the event, and is quoted as saying that he'd show up whenever the show wanted him.|
Good guy Kershaw - or a publicity-conscious agent - is taking the snub far to politely.
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As to the the ballgame itself, while it absolutely, positively was a masterpiece and one of the greatest games ever pitched, no game can ever exceed the game at Dodgers’ Stadium that was played on Thursday night, September 9, 1965, which I watched from the first level seats behind first base.
The game that night was maybe the greatest game ever, and without question, the greatest game ever pitched. Dodgers’ Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax faced 27 batters and retired 27 in a row, for a perfect game. He struck out 14 batters in that game, including the last six in a row, and the game ended with the strikeout of former batting champion and lifetime
The Dodgers’ scored a single run in that game, an unearned run scored on a walk to Lou Johnson (the only walk in the game), a sacrifice, a stolen base, and a throwing error, and the final score of the game was Dodgers 1, Chicago Cubs 0. Cubs’ lefty Bob Hendley had his own no-hitter for six and two-thirds innings, which ended with a Lou Johnson double, the only hit the Dodgers’ were to get in the game. Johnson, on base twice, was the game’s only baserunner, and the only runner left on base. For the game, 53 batters faced off against Koufax and Hundley, and they managed one walk and one hit, each by Johnson, and each off of Hundley.
This past Wednesday night, Kershaw was magnificent as well, and certainly did pitch a gem. It was one of eight no-hitters in baseball history to not have been perfect games due only to a fielding error, and the 15 strikeouts were the most ever in a game where the pitcher allowed no hits and no walks. But it was not a better pitched game than the one played in September, 1965.