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Clayton Kershaw Blames Owners, Lockout For Getting Pulled With Perfect Game

Ryan Phillips
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages
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Clayton Kershaw was pulled after seven innings during his Wednesday start after only throwing 80 pitches. That in itself isn't really newsworthy, except for the fact that he was twirling a perfect game at the time. After the game, Kershaw blamed MLB owners for the fact that he was pulled.

The 34-year-old lefty was absolutely dominant, having struck out 13 and obviously having not allowed a baserunner. But after the contest -- in which his Dodgers beat the Twins 7-0 -- Kershaw said pulling him was the right decision and people should direct their ire at baseball owners and the lockout that occurred over the winter.

Given Kershaw's lengthy injury history and the fact that it's the second week of April, pulling him after 80 pitches may have been the prudent decision anyway. But players didn't have a full ramp up to this season this winter because of the owners' pointlessly long lockout that should have been lifted for spring training. Teams will treat their pitchers delicately for a few months as a result.

That said, ESPN's Jeff Passan made a great point about pulling Kershaw: this wasn't a no-hitter, it was a perfect game. There have only been 23 in the history of baseball in more than 220,000 games.

That had to be rough for Kershaw to walk away on the doorstep of history. He was relieved by Alex Vesia, who allowed the second batter he faced -- Gary Sanchez -- to single to center, and walked Max Kepler two batters later. They were the only Twins to reach base on the day.

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