Sometimes referred to as the “Best Pitcher on the Planet,” Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has certainly lived up to his name. After just two years in the minors, he was called up in 2008 and has had a spot in the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation ever since.
Over his eight years in the Majors, the left-hander has averaged 241 strikeouts per season with his career-high of 248 coming in 2011. However, this is not his highest accomplishment.
After defeating the Washington Nationals and notching his sixth straight season with at least 200 strikeouts on Wednesday night, the left-hander talked about the the streak and his work so far. In Kershaw’s eyes, he believes a successful pitcher is one who is consistent. “I like consistency,” Kershaw said. “When you start looking at the Mark Buehrle streaks, the Dan Harens, the guys that don’t go on the DL are the guys that are around for a long time. I have a lot of respect for those guys.”
“Hopefully in 10 years or so I’ll be in that category,” Kershaw added.
Kershaw has been on the disabled list just one time in his career. After his first start in 2014, he headed to the disabled list with a back shoulder injury, but has since been healthy. Surprisingly, he has spent four of the last five seasons in the top-10 innings pitched for all pitchers.
The Dodgers were certainly aware of the rare talent that they had found in Kershaw. Prior to the 2014 season, the two sides came to an agreement on a seven-year, $215 million contract with an $18 million signing bonus, which has locked him up through the 2020 season. He will be 32 when the contract expires.
Despite having a sluggish start this season, Kershaw leads the league in FIP, xFIP, and SIERA. He also trails Chris Sale by just 0.16 points with 11.39 K/9. The Dodgers and Kershaw have won five of his last six starts
Since his last loss on June 27, the 27-year-old has averaged just over seven innings through seven starts and has an ERA of 0.85. While there is still a good portion of season left, he may have a good chance at his fourth Cy Young Award.