Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run and struck out six over eight innings to help lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a series win against the San Francisco Giants. His last strikeout was of Gorkys Hernandez, who went down swinging to end the eighth inning.
It gave Kershaw 200 strikeouts, and he became the first Dodgers pitcher to ever produce seven seasons with at least 200 strikeouts. Kershaw was tied with Sandy Koufax (1961-1966) and Don Drysdale (1959-1960, 1962-1965) as the only pitchers in franchise history to have six seasons with a minimum of 200 strikeouts.
Kershaw was well on his way to reaching his seventh such season in 2016, but was derailed by a herniated disc that sidelined him for 10 weeks. The three-time Cy Young Award winner finished with 172 strikeouts, his fewest since 2009.
Kershaw has led or ranked near the top in strikeouts among National League pitchers in seven of the past seven eight seasons. He led the Majors with 301 strikeouts in 2015, becoming the first pitcher to reach the milestone since Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson both did so in 2002.
At present time he ranks seventh in strikeouts this season among NL pitchers and is tied with teammate Yu Darvish for 14th overall. Boston Red Sox southpaw Chris Sale is pacing the Majors with 300 punchouts.
Earlier this season, the Dodgers ace became the third-fastest pitcher (by innings) all-time to reach 2,000 career strikeouts. In terms of games pitched, only Johnson (262 games) bested Kershaw (277). Overall, Kershaw is the 79th pitcher in MLB history to reach 2,000 career strikeouts.
His accomplishments this season are despite spending five weeks on the disabled list due to a lower back strain.