The first hitter he faced on the game, Shohei Ohtani, led off things with a single.
However, he wasn’t expecting Kershaw to bring his pickoff A-game.
Kershaw is the owner of one of the league’s best pickoff moves, and he showcased that particular skill on Tuesday night by retiring Ohtani.
The two legends shared a smile after that, and Kershaw kept on working.
The second batter was Aaron Judge, who is leading the New York Yankees to the league’s best record and has 33 homers to his name.
He proceeded to strike out the powerful slugger, putting two outs on the scoreboard in quick fashion.
✅ Pick off Ohtani
✅ Strike out Judge
Casual first inning for Clayton Kershaw 😎
— ESPN (@espn) July 20, 2022
An Impressive Inning
Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers was able to work a walk off the future Hall of Fame southpaw, putting a man on first with two outs.
Then Kershaw got out of the inning by inducing a former MVP candidate, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., to ground out.
You have to hand it to Kershaw: he had to face Ohtani, Judge, Devers, and Guerrero in succession, and he came off unscathed.
That foursome belongs in the elite of the American League, sure, but Kershaw has been the best and most consistent pitcher of his generation from a run-prevention standpoint.
His career 2.48 ERA is the number to focus on here: it’s truly amazing, considering the amount of innings he has logged over the years.
When he decides to retire, Cooperstown will be waiting.