LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout made history at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. It was the first time that a reigning MVP from the National League faced a reigning MVP from the American League.
Trout was 0 for 3 against Kershaw, who extended his scoreless streak to 37 innings with eight innings of two-hit ball and led the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory over the Angels.
“I was just trying to get him out,” Kershaw said. “He’s an unbelievable hitter, probably the best hitter in the game. If he hits three homers and we win, I’ll be OK, too. I don’t think it’s fun to face anybody. But if you get him out, it’s fun.
Trout looked at a called third strike his first time up, grounded into a fielder’s choice, and got robbed of a bloop single by right fielder Yasiel Puig.
“We’ve faced some good pitching the last couple of days,” Trout said. “Obviously, Kershaw today had his dominant stuff once again. That’s why he’s the best in the league. He threw all pitches for strikes today and had his good stuff. Every pitch was cutting, sinking, sliding, curving, the whole bit.”
Kershaw (9-6) struck out seven, walked one and retired his last 15 batters. The left-hander was working on eight days’ rest after his outing was delayed twice because of a sore hip.
“It’s crazy what an extra three days off will do. I don’t like days off, apparently,” Kershaw said. “My off-speed stuff wasn’t as sharp as it has been in the past — and coupled with the Angels not swinging at anything in the dirt made it a little bit difficult at first.
“They had a really good game plan and stuck with it, but I was able to get some quick innings in the middle and I was fortunate to get through eight today. I think my fastball command got a little better as the game went on,” he added.
Kershaw’s previous start was a three-hit shutout on July 23 at New York in which he took a perfect game into the seventh inning. The three-time Cy Young Award winner hasn’t given up a run since Wilmer Flores’ RBI single for the Mets on July 3 at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw had a 41-inning shutout streak last season, when he became the first NL pitcher since 1968 to be named MVP and won his unprecedented fourth consecutive major league ERA title.