Kyle Freeland and Clayton Kershaw both pitched games worthy of a baseball card on Sunday as the unofficial first half of the season came to a conclusion.
Freeland, of the Colorado Rockies, earned his ninth win of the season after coming two out shy of a no-hitter. In the 10-0 victory over the White Sox, Freeland pitched 8.1 innings but ultimately gave up his first hit, a single to left field, to Melky Cabrera.
Having thrown 126 pitches and the no-hitter off the table, Freeland was replaced by Jordan Lyles who finished the game with two lineouts.
Freeland goes into the All Star break with a 9-7 record (.563) over 18 starts and a 3.77 ERA. The rookie lefty is posting a 3.1 WAR which is good for 7th among National League pitchers and, had he completed the no-hitter, would have been the first Rockies no-hitter at Coors Field.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the Dodgers completed a three game sweep of the Kansas City Royals thanks in large part to a brilliant outing by Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who is the first pitcher to reach 14 wins this season, completed nine frames on 99 pitches which is remarkable considering he also threw 13 strike outs.
Kershaw, as has become expected, will be representing the Dodgers at this year’s All Star game, his seventh consecutive honor, and he enters the break behind Max Scherzer in terms of pitcher WAR at 3.7. Sunday marked the first complete game of the season for Kershaw although he did pitch nine complete innings against the Cardinals on May, 23 in a game that ultimately went 13 innings.
Both men’s accomplishments were honored by Topps today as part of their Topps Now instant baseball card series. The Freeland and Kershaw cards, numbered 341 and 342 respectively, are available for purchase for just 24 hours and print runs are limited to the number purchased. For a full checklist and final print runs, click the associated hub link at the top of this page. To purchase your copy of the cards, click any of the links found on this page.
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