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Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw throws the best no-hitter of all time

(AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Kyusung Gong)

Two-time Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw pitched his first career no-hitter on Wednesday night. And it was something special.

Not because it was the Dodgers’ second no-no of the year (Josh Beckett pitched one vs the Phillies in late May) and the 22nd in Dodgers history.

Not because KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKershaw struck out 15 of the 28 batters he faced – 12 of them swinging.

Not because, according to Elias Sports Bureau research, Kershaw’s 15 strikeouts are tied for the third-most strikeouts in a no-hitter in MLB history.

Not because only three pitches were hit out of the infield.

Source: Baseball-Savant
Source: Baseball-Savant

It’s because it was arguably the best no-hitter of all time, at least according to Bill James’s Game Score.

Game score is a stat created by James to determine just how good of an outing a pitcher has had and is simple to calculate:

Start with 50 points. Add 1 point for each out recorded, (or 3 points per inning). Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th. Add 1 point for each strikeout. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed. Subtract 1 point for each walk.

The maximum score in a nine-inning game is 114 and the all-time best for a nine-inning game since 1990 is 105, set by Kerry Wood in his 20-strikeout, one-hitter against the Astros in 1998. Matt Cain’s perfect game in 2012 scored a 101, tied with Nolan Ryan’s 16-strikeout no-hitter in 1991 and Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965. Kershaw ended the game with a game score of 102, the highest ever for a no hitter.

“I’ll remember this for the rest of my life,” Kershaw said.


Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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