June 26th, 2012
The date June 27 in Dodger history belongs to Jerry Reuss, who pitched his only career no-hitter on that date in 1980 during an 8-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park. Reuss retired 27 of 28 batters he faced, the only San Francisco baserunner was Jack Clark, who reached on shortstop Bill Russell’s two-out throwing error in the first inning.
Reuss was one of the most unnderated pitchers in Dodger history, changing his career fortunes after a trade with Pittsburgh in April 1979. Acquired for pitcher Rick Rhoden, Reuss struggled to a 7-14 record with the Dodgers in 1979. During the offseason, he adopted a weight-lifting program and an exercise program recommended by team physician Dr. Frank Jobe. Reuss won 46 games between 1980-82, including a 10-4 mark during the strike-shortened season in 1981.
Fernando Valenzuela won 111 regular-season games between 1981-87, including 52 victories during a three-year span from 1985-87. After Valenzuela, it became rare for a Dodger left-hander to enjoy sustained success in the starting rotation. Two Dodger left-handers won at least 30 games during a three-year period – teammates Kaz Ishii (36 wins) and Odalis Perez (34 wins) from 2002-2004.
Current Dodger Clayton Kershaw is the latest lefty to join the group, having won 42 games between 2009-2011.