For a pitcher who accomplished so much by such a young age, it took Clayton Kershaw an awfully long time to give up the first grand slam of his career.
As a three-time Cy Young Award winner with a lifetime ERA of 2.36, Kershaw doesn’t often get into sticky situations, but that’s exactly what happened during Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. Kershaw was cruising along nicely until the sixth inning, when he gave up two walks and a single to load the bases for Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr.
Altherr, a .243 hitter for his career, waited for Kershaw to throw a hanging slider and punished the mistake, making a bit of baseball history in the process.
Take a look at the unlikely slam.
While Kershaw had given up 125 home runs prior to last night, none of those occurred with the bases loaded. All told, the Texas native threw 29,188 pitches in his career before surrendering his first grand slam, a staggering run that dates all the way back to 2008.
Altherr, who’s hit 17 round trippers this season, took pride in the accomplishment.
“You try to make it just another game, but deep down you know it’s really not because of how good he is and how good he’s been over the years,” he said, according to Matt Gelb of Philly.com. “He’s a future Hall of Famer.”
Kershaw was disappointed with his outing, but not because his streak was broken up. He’s been uncharacteristically flat since returning from injury at the beginning of the month, posting a 3.74 ERA in 21.2 innings.
“No progress,” he said, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times. “We had the lead, and I blew it, and we lost. There’s not a lot of progress there to be had.”
While the Phillies did win the game 4-3, Kershaw’s Dodgers remain in ideal position to win their division. They currently sit at 96-54, 9.5 games clear of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West.
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