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Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Passes Sandy Koufax on Strikeouts

Clayton Kershaw passed Sandy Koufax for third in Dodgers’ strikeouts.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 01: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws in the bullpen before the game against the San Francisco Giants on April 1, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw has been a staple in the Dodgers’ rotation for over ten years. Whenever he pitches, it’s almost certain that the strikeouts will start to stack up. And on Thursday night, he passed an all-time Dodgers legend for third in punch outs.

Kershaw struck out five through six innings, despite allowing a season-high five walks. He walked away well in position to secure his 10th win as well, thanks to a grand slam from his new battery-mate Will Smith. Kershaw won nine games last year in an injury riddled season.

Sandy Koufax pitched pitched for twelve years, all with the Dodgers. He won three Cy Young awards and won 165 games, but was forced to retire due to injury. Koufax was not granted the luxury of having advanced surgeries available to him, and his elbow forced him out of baseball far too early.

Only Don Drysdale and Don Sutton sit ahead of Kershaw now, with 2486 and 2696 respectively. He would need to strike out 89 more to reach Sutton, which he will likely do by the early part of 2020. He needs 300 more to become the Dodgers’ all-time leader, and he could get that done in 2020 as well.

Two earned runs on Thursday brought Kershaw’s ERA to 2.85 on the year.

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.

4 Comments

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  1. I was more impressed with the way he kept pitching around all those walks last nite……..even when he does not have his best “stuff”, like last nite, he is still tough for the opponents to get to.

  2. Last night……..It was so funny! DId anyone else see the Padres pitcher (Trey Wingenter) when Will Smith hit that grand slam? As soon as the ball was hit, Wingeter pointed straight up in the sky, the motion most pitchers use when they are trying to signal to their defense that the ball has been “popped up”? It was too funny!!!!!! Granted, I am watching this live on television, but I could tell the ball looked like it was struck well enough to get to the warning track……..usually the kind of hit the pitcher cringes, then hopes & prays it stays in the yard. Wingeter thought it was a pop up. Will Smith is starting to feel like a god send………He has been doing this so often I had a feeling he might go yard as soon as he stepped in the batters box……..You never get that feeling when Barnes or Martin walk up to the plate.

  3. The best aspect of Kershaw as an athlete/pitcher is that he learned how to continue winning and help his team and earn his contract extension after the fastball was not as effective. Like the other great lifelong Dodgers, he is also a great person.

  4. Keyshawn has reinvented himself now that his fastball isn’t what it use to be. I give him credit for his work out ethics. However, unfortunately for his arthritic arm Koufax was the greatest lefty when he was able to pitch! He was dominant in all phases of the game. Check out his ERA during his run with all the pain. He stepped away when the pain was unbearable. I am biased growing up in BKLYN but, no one compares to him in his prime. He would also be at the top with strike outs if he was able to continue pitching.

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