At age 27, Clayton Kershaw has already accomplished just about everything imaginable as a major league pitcher.
Now he can add one more impressive accolade to the list after notching his 300th strikeout of the season during Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres.
In doing so, Kershaw became the 34th different pitcher in MLB history to reach 300 strikeout in a single season. That’s according to records dating back to 1901, when strikeouts were first recorded. Kershaw is the third pitcher to reach the mark since the year 2000. Randy Johnson (334) and Curt Schilling (316) got there as Arizona Diamondbacks in teammates 2002.
That’s the type of elite company Kershaw is keeping by reaching 300. Others on that list include Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan and Pedro Martinez. Sandy Koufax is the only Dodgers’ pitcher to reach 300. Both Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan have done it six times, which is more than any other pitcher.
Kershaw came into Sunday needing six strikeouts to reach that plateau. That’s a drop in the bucket even on his rare bad days. Of course, he also came in knowing his pitch count would be limited as the Dodgers prepare for the postseason. That added a little extra drama going in, but Kershaw ended that quickly, striking out six in the first three innings. Melvin Upton Jr. was his 300th victim, going down swinging to end the frame.
Kershaw would go on to toss 3 2/3 innings, stirking out seven overall while allowing just two hits.
Now Kershaw will focus on his next challenge, which will be conqueriing the New York Mets in the NLDS. Kershaw’s postseason track record isn’t the strongest, but he should definitely go in this season with his confidence soaring.
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