Dodgers’ Kershaw pulled after seven perfect innings

Clayton+pitching+in+a+game+at+Dodger+Stadium.+Photo+credit%3A+Clayton+Kershaw%2C+MVP+by+kla4067+is+marked+with+CC+BY+2.0.

Clayton pitching in a game at Dodger Stadium. Photo credit: Clayton Kershaw, MVP” by kla4067 is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Michael Cody Stephenson, Staff Writer

On Wednesday afternoon, Clayton Kershaw took the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers for his first start of the 2022 season, against the Minnesota Twins, and after not allowing a hit, walk, or any baserunners through seven innings of work with 13 K’s manager Dave Roberts removed him from the game.

The decision by Roberts sparked debates on every end of the internet.

The perfect game in baseball is as sacred as they come, it’s only happened just 23 times in MLB history, a pitcher not allowing any batter to reach base throughout the game, retiring all 27 batters faced.

A no-hitter is much more common, there’s been 314 in MLB history, and Kershaw has one of them on his resume.

Baseball fans’ felt robbed when Kershaw was taken out of the game in Minnesota, having thrown just 80 pitches, and with the Dodgers’ leading 6-0 after Cody Bellinger, Gavin Lux, and Austin Barnes hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the top half of the eighth inning.

The Dodgers’ and Roberts were thinking bigger picture.

Kershaw, 34, is entering the 15th year of his career this season and is coming off of a season that was cut short by an arm injury. The three-time CY Young award winner and one-time MVP defended the decision of Roberts’ understanding the importance of a long season ahead and a shorten spring due to the lockout.

In years past, Kershaw might’ve fought the decision to remove him from the game, but his latest performance should give everyone hope that one of the game’s best pitchers still has a lot more to offer and the Dodgers’ need this version of him more than ever.

The Dodgers signed Kershaw to a one-year deal this offseason, bringing back the left-hander for all the right reasons, the face of the franchise for more than a decade now.

The injury history over last few seasons wasn’t going to get in the way of that decision.

The Dodgers’ in 2022 are without Max Scherzer, who signed with the New York Mets’ as a free agent in the offseason, and Trevor Bauer, who may not pitch another game for the team because of off the field issues.

The Dodgers’ needed to fill out their starting rotation behind Walker Buehler and Julio Urias entering the new season, so Kershaw, even on the back end of his career is a better option than most.

Kershaw’s dominant outing against the Twins was a throwback to his last CY Young award and MVP season in 2014.

The decision to remove Kershaw from the game is getting all the attention, rightfully so, any fan of the game of baseball takes the short sighted approach and wants to see the perfect game.

At the end of the day, the Dodgers’ want to win another World Series, and a healthy Kershaw gives them the best chance to do so. If this performance is a sign of things to come for Kershaw, later in the season, we all may get another chance at witnessing perfection.