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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Third in Strikeout Performances; Among Elite Company

The long-time ace is still really very good.

Dodgers

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.

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.

Stuff

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.

Final Thought

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.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

One Comment

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  1. Clayton is having another good year. I feel like he should have around an 11-3 record this year instead of his 8-2. As you say, Clint, his days of 10+ K’s are pretty much in the rear view mirror; but he is still an upper echelon pitcher. I personally am pulling for one more Cy and one more ERA title before he hangs up the spikes. And I get a feeling he is going to get both. Might not happen this year; but never count Clayton out. He will get a few Cy votes this year if he stays the course. And if he has a run–look out Charlie. Ryu is having a career year and Scherzer is Scherzer; but Clayton has had a 30+ scoreless inning streak before. Anyway, really pulling for Kershaw to cap off an already great career with a little icing on the cake.

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