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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Becomes the Winningest LHP in MLB History

No one has ever done what Kershaw just did.



With the Dodgers first win over the Giants on Thursday’s doubleheader, Clayton Kershaw reached a historic mark for his career. Thirteen years into his storied career, you almost expect him to reach new milestones almost every start out there. He did pass Don Drysdale for the franchise strikeout mark in his last start. 

But it was not a strikeout record that Clayon surpassed in this start over the Giants. But with his fourth win of the season, Kershaw became the winningest left-handed pitcher in MLB history. Out of every left-handed pitcher to play the game, none have matched his .6964 mark. 

Kershaw talked about reaching that mark with the Dodgers after, and responded exactly how you would imagine. The always humble Clayton Kershaw rarely takes credit for himself. 

I’ve been on a great team, you know? The Dodgers maybe other than like 1 or 2 years we’ve basically had a winning team since I’ve been here. So that’s basically what that is, a win is a team stat for a starting pitcher so I’m thankful to be on a good team. 

The win was Clayton’s 172nd of his career. In terms of all-time winning percentage, only two right-handed pitchers sit ahead of him. Al Spalding had a .795 mark while Spud Chandler put up a .7171 mark. Kershaw would need to win 13 more games without taking on a loss to pass Chandler. 

The Dodgers picked up Clayton Kershaw way back in the first round of the 2006 draft out of high school. In that time, he has picked up three Cy Young awards to go along with five ERA titles and an MVP award. Kershaw has also appeared on eight All-Star teams and won a pitching triple crown. A truly historic career with plenty of gas left in the tank. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. CONGRADULATIONS CLAYTON, For reaching your milestone record for your EXCELLANCE as one of the BEST pitchers in MLB!!!! You are a dedicated professional to the sport of baseball and we as Dodgers Fans are so fortunate to have you be a part of Our Dodger Organization!!!! And We wish you many more years of success.GO DODGER BLUE!!!!

  2. What a ludicrous and obviously untrue statement. Winning percentage does not make Kershaw the winningest pitcher in MLB hitory. Warren Spahn, Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton and many others have many more ML victories. As soon as Kershaw loses a few games this so-called “record” will once again mean nothing, This is typical of today’s idocy when reporting sports and athletes, and signifies only an ignorance of long-accepted, true records. By the way, I would happily rather have any single one of the above named pitchers on my MLB roster than Kershaw, and I suspect most actual baseball fans would do the same.

    • You would be wrong! While I never got to see Warren or Lefty I as an actual fan of the game of baseball would take Kershaw. Yes there will be some that point to his post season mishaps but the fact remains he is a GREAT pitcher, GREAT teammate & and eve better person.

  3. Kershaw is a classy guy and a great Dodger, but he is not even close to being the all-time winning est lefthander! That honor belongs to the Braves Warren Spahn. Don’t try to make Kershaw’s achievement sound like something it’s not. What he has, at the moment, is the best all-time winning %AGE by a lefthander. That of course could change each time he is charged with a loss.

    • No one tried to pretend that it was something it wasn’t. The statistic (still amazing in and of itself…) was clearly explained in the article. If you read it…

  4. He almost did in 2017, except the Astros cheated, read his catcher’s signs and no Astro swung at a Kershaw slider – instead they literally teed off on his read fastballs. A sad day for baseball when not one Astro player received a single penalty…..

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