Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been among the best of the best in baseball throughout his 12 year career. While he has lost some velocity on his fastball, and his strikeout totals continue to dip since his peak seasons, he still finds himself listed alongside the elite K pitchers in the game.
Sixty 10+ K games for @ClaytonKersh22. ???
Only Max Scherzer and Chris Sale have more since Kershaw’s debut in 2008. pic.twitter.com/TVygQ1FQDh
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 21, 2019
With his 10 K performance on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, he recorded the 60th 10+ strikeout game of his career. That number is good enough to place him third in baseball since 2008, only trailing Max Scherzer and Chris Sale.
As an added layer of enjoyment for Dodgers fans, they can proudly boast that their ace has done it all for one team… Scherzer has compiled his total for 3 teams, and Sale for 2. Impressively, Sale’s career started in 2010, while both Clayton and Max debuted in 2008.
Gone are the days of Kershaw regularly striking out 10+ — Saturday was his first of the season, and first since K-ing 12 D-backs way back in April 2018.
At his peak in 2015, King Kershaw recorded an incredible 13 10+ strikeout games, en route to a career high 301 in a season where he lost out on his 4th (should have been 5th) Cy Young Award.
He recorded 7 10+ games as recently as 2017.
Some view this as “he doesn’t have it anymore.” However, it should be taken as a sign that Kershaw is merely adapting to his new form. No longer equipped with the 93-94mph heat, he can still catch you slipping with nasty off-speed stuff.
If 17-7 with a 2.78 ERA over the last two seasons is considered “not having it,” we may not know what it is anymore.