Sunday in sunny Los Angeles, the baseball world was treated to a rarity. The battle between the last two World Series champions was already tasty enough, but the pitching matchup was two future Hall of Famers in Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw and Nationals righty Max Scherzer.
Even just seeing the names makes baseball fans everywhere perk up, as we know these guys are generational greats, but consider this: Only 10 pitchers in baseball history have won at least three Cy Youngs. These are two of them. This, per STATS LLC, was the just 10th time in regular-season history that two of these pitchers have faced each other.
It did not disappoint.
Scherzer allowed just one run on three hits in his six innings of work. That should usually be good enough to win, but this time around Scherzer is saddled with the hard-luck loss. Kershaw was dominant, the offense scored enough and the bullpen shut the door in a 3-0 Dodgers win.
He induced a lot of weak contact with his off-speed pitches. He got eight swings and misses with his slider, too, striking out a batter per inning. He was never really in trouble.
Kershaw appears to be following up his sneaky-dominant 2020 with a repeat. He had a rough start on opening day, but it was Coors Field. In the two starts since, against the A's and Nationals, he's allowed just one run on nine hits in 13 innings with 14 strikeouts and no walks.
The Dodgers are now 8-2.
On the flip side would be Scherzer's Nationals. They overcame him allowing four homers on opening day for the walk-off win, but they have lost five straight games since. It's probably of little consolation, but the competition has been the Braves and Dodgers, arguably the two best NL teams. They'll look to get back on track in St. Louis starting Monday.