The Dodgers got off to an impressive 2-0 lead in the first inning and they would not look back, guided by a vintage dominant performance from Kershaw on the mound.
It was a brilliant performance from the three-time Cy Young winner, who went through seven innings of work with a perfect game to that point, along with 13 strikeouts.
The moment was almost spoiled with two outs in the seventh inning, but second baseman Gavin Lux saved the day with a miraculous play on a ball hit up the middle to keep Kershaw perfect through seven innings.
Gavin Lux might've just made "the play" 😱
Kershaw is through 7 👀
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 13, 2022
It looked like Clayton was headed towards MLB’s 24th perfect game in history, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts elected to pull him at the start of the eighth inning at 80 pitches on the day. The Dodgers would go on to win the game 7-0, but reliever Alex Vesia allowed a hit in the 8th inning to give up the team’s perfect game.
Roberts’ decision to pull Kershaw certainly has the MLB world divided.
Many felt that he certainly should have allowed Kershaw to try and accomplish the historic milestone, one that hasn’t happened for an MLB starter since Felix Hernandez did so in 2012.
You cannot pull Kershaw. YOU CANNOT PULL KERSHAW!!!!!
— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) April 13, 2022
Pulling Clayton Kershaw six outs away from a perfect game at 80 pitches should be a crime punishable by up to 90 years in prison. Come on.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) April 13, 2022
Welcome to modern baseball where no pitcher is allowed to achieve greatness. https://t.co/cTIEzIy6Hz
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) April 13, 2022
If it's a no-hitter, whatever. Yank him. Clayton Kershaw has thrown one.
But there have been more than 220,000 games in MLB history. There have been 23 perfect games.
Everything — especially a pitch count of 80 — is lining up to at least let Kershaw try. You cannot pull him.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 13, 2022
You HAVE to let Kershaw keep going. I understand it more with a young guy early in the year. But Clayton Kershaw is 6 outs away from a perfect game!! HAVE to let him try and finish it off!!
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) April 13, 2022
While most are upset that Kershaw wasn’t allowed to continue, some understand that it was his first start of the year after a very short spring training period. Also, the Dodgers will need him healthy down the stretch if they want to win a World Series.
without last year's forearm injury — which cost Kershaw a trip to the postseason — and the lockout-shortened spring training? Sure, let him go for it. But the Dodgers and Kershaw would never forgive themselves if this carried longer-term ramifications.
— Jay Jaffe (@jay_jaffe) April 13, 2022
Kershaw is coming off an arm injury, after a shortened spring training, and was pitching in 38 degree weather. I can’t believe *I’m* telling people to calm down.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) April 13, 2022
Deep down, it’s the right move for Dave Roberts and the Dodgers
Painful. Questionable. But the right move.
You need Clayton Kershaw for the entire season and playoffs. Of course we’d all personally let him finish it.
Imagine if he pulled him with three outs to go.
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) April 13, 2022
There are arguments on both sides of this that are completely justified.
On one hand, Kershaw is coming off a season where he had elbow issues, and with the shortened MLB offseason, starting pitchers like him just aren’t ready to handle going deep in many games at this point in the season. However, Kershaw has truly done everything in the world of baseball except accomplishing a perfect game, and this might have been his best chance to ever do so.
For his part, Kershaw said after the game that it was “the right choice” given the circumstances.
It is a difficult decision that will certainly leave fans wondering “what if” Dave Roberts decided to let him go just two innings more.