All Teams
All Teams

Actually, this isn't the first time Clayton Kershaw has thrown a 15-K no-hitter

main image

On Wednesday night, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw put on one of the greatest pitching performances you'll ever see. The lefty struck out 15 batters en route to his first career no-hitter -- a whiff number matched in a no-no by only Nolan Ryan, Warren Spahn and Don Wilson.

But while that outing was his best performance as a Major Leaguer (and one of the best, you know, ever), Kershaw has prior experience with such eye-popping stat lines.

Back in 2006, when Kershaw was merely a top high school pitching prospect from Texas, he put up a 13-0 season with a 0.77 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 64 innings. For those playing along at home, that's about 2.17 strikeouts per inning, or in sabermetric terms: "a lot."

The left-hander's crowning achievement that year was a perfect game -- one in which he struck out every single batter he faced.

Details about the game are scarce -- its story lives on via archived articles and news stories copied onto message boards -- but the story goes that Kershaw took the hill for Highland Park High School in a playoff game against Justin, Texas' Northwest High School. Kershaw kept ringing up strikeouts while his offense kept tallying runs.

The game ended after five innings following an invocation of the 10-run mercy rule, meaning Kershaw only managed to strike out the exact same number of batters in his high school perfect game as he did in his MLB no-hitter: 15. The lefty ultimately tossed 73 pitches in the outing, or roughly 4.87 per at-bat.

The moral of the story: Clayton Kershaw will sometimes strike out 15 batters whether you give him 27 outs to do it or just 15. He's just that good.

(h/t @MattRivera26 for the video)