The Colorado Rockies went viral on Wednesday night. Well, they did so indirectly; Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw went viral for throwing his first career no-hitter, and it just so happens that it came against the Colorado Rockies.
It wasn’t just the no-hitter that created the buzz; pleasantly enough, baseball fans have a strong understanding at this point that not all no-hitters are created equal. Some are more worthy of adulation that others. And what Kershaw did to the Rockies on this night is worthy of all the praise and laudatory remarks that you can muster.
Kershaw needed only 107 pitches to polish off the no-no, or roughly the number of pitches it takes Juan Nicasio to reach the 4th inning of a start. He was one Hanley Ramirez throwing error away from a perfect game in a performance that truthfully outdid a lot of completed perfect games. He struck out 15 and issued zero walks. He only faced a three ball count once in the entire game.
Kershaw might throw multiple no-hitters in his career. He might even throw a perfect game before all is said and done. But he might not ever be better than he was last night.
The cynicism of the present moment means that baseball romanticism is mostly out of style. There is still room for it, however, and each and every fan should consider Kershaw’s accomplishment in that spirit.
On Wednesday night many of us were treated to the opportunity to watch the best pitcher in the league, a guy who looks to have a Hall of Fame plaque in his future, throw a perfect nine innings of baseball (that error be damned). Vin Scully, the greatest play-by-play man of all-time, was on the microphone to guide many of us through each inning.
That’s once in a lifetime stuff. Even if the team I cheer for was on the wrong end of it, I am truly grateful that I got to see it.