#DonnieBaseball Returns to New York City with Dodgers
By Howard Goldin
Don Mattingly, one of the most popular Yankees in the past 20 years, brought the Los Angeles Dodgers into New York City for a four-game series at Citi Field.
A very large crowd of 34,222 came on Thursday to see Mattingly and also starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Mattingly was on the Yankee roster from 1982-1995. He coached during Spring training for the Yanks from 1997-2003 and was a Yankee coach during the 2004-2007 regular seasons in the Bronx.
The phenomenal left-hander had not yielded a run in his previous 220 innings before the game began. The 27 year old retired the first 18 batters he faced. Kershaw previously threw a non-hitter 13 months ago, June 18, 2014, against Colorado.
Curtis Granderson led off the seventh with a single off a slider from Kershaw. The pitcher described the pitch, “There’s a lot of luck in a perfect game. It was a pretty good pitch and a pretty good swing. You have to tip your cap. Any guy can get a hot off you. If you don’t do it [no hitter], so what? If you do, it’s exciting”
Kershaw gave up two more singles, to Wlimer Flores and Lucas Duda, but he pitched a superlative complete game shutout. Kershaw fanned 11, but did not issue a walk. He raised his scoreless streak to 29 straight innings.
Kershaw has been outstanding during the past several seasons. He won the Cy Young Award in 2011, 2013 and 2014 and the National League MVP Award in 2014.
His 8-6 mark this year will probably not qualify him for the Cy Young this season. His Dodger teammate Zack Greinke, with a 9-2 record and a 1.30 ERA will probably receive the award.
The Dodgers skipper spoke about the benefit of the two great in the same rotation, “I think it’s good for both of them. I think it’s really healthy. Kershaw disagreed with the manager’s opinion, “I don’t compete with my teammates.”
The combination of the success of the two hurlers is keeping the Dodgers in first place in the National League West, 13 games above .500.