Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw’s personal streak of lowering his career ERA in each season dating back to 2009 was snapped this year. He entered the season with a lifetime mark of 2.36, but it increased to a 2.39by the end of his campaign after posting a 2.73 ERA during the regular season — the highest for Kershaw since 2010.
The streak started nearly a decade ago when the left-hander bounced back with an impressive 2.79 ERA in his sophomore season after posting a 4.26 ERA as a rookie.
Kershaw went on to progressively improve his season ERA from 2012-14, accumulating successive totals of 2.53, 1.87 and 1.77. He led the league in that category for the entirety of the three-year span.
Having battled respective back and bicep injuries during the 2018 season, Kershaw was limited to only 26 starts. He went 9-5 with a 3.18 FIP and 1.04 WHIP in addition to his 2.73 ERA over 161.1 innings pitched.
It was the lightest workload for Kershaw since an injury-plagued 2016 season held him to only 21 starts and 149 innings. Now back with Los Angeles for another three seasons, the 30-year-old hopes to return to elite form while focusing on his health as an effort to avoid future disabled list stints going forward.
In the wake of 2018 National League Cy Young Award voting results, Kershaw also saw his record-tying streak of seven consecutive top-five finishes come to an end.