On May 10, 2015, Clayton Kershaw reached 1,500 career strikeouts during a 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. He accomplished the milestone on a patented curveball to Drew Stubbs for called strike three in the third inning.
Kershaw became the 12th pitcher in MLB history to reach 1,5000 strikeouts before turning 28 years old. The list includes former Dodgers hurlers Don Drysdale and Fernando Valenzuela. Although the reigning National League MVP etched his name into the record book, the outing at Coors Field was hardly smooth sailing.
Kershaw got through three scoreless innings and was spotted a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth. A leadoff walk and base hit led to a Wilin Rosario RBI single, which was followed by a game-tying base hit from Nick Hundley.
An infield single, RBI groundout and base hit led to the Rockies taking a 5-2 lead before Kershaw could get out of the inning. He kept the Rockies off the board from there, though only logged 5.2 innings.
Kershaw exited with the game tied and the Dodgers went on to rally for four runs in the eighth inning. They were sparked by Justin Turner’s two-run homer that broke the tie.
The uncharacteristic outing from Kershaw was somewhat fitting considering how his 2015 season had gone to that point. He took the mound with just one win in seven starts and was sporting a 3.72 ERA.
After the start, Kershaw was leading the Majors with 56 strikeouts and a career-best 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He went on to earn a 100th career win when facing the Rockies at Dodger Stadium five days later and finished the 2015 season with a career-high 301 strikeouts.
Kershaw joined former Arizona teammates Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling as the only pitchers since 2000 to record 300 strikeouts in a single season. Kershaw additionally became just the second Dodgers hurler in franchise history to accomplish the feat, joining Sandy Koufax.
The Dodgers finished the season at 92-70, surpassing 90 wins for the third consecutive year. They additionally won what was a third straight NL West title, reaching the postseason three years in a row for the first time in franchise history.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!