LOS ANGELES – Clayton Kershaw overtook the Detroit Tigers’ Rookie Spencer Torkelson in the fourth inning for the 2,697th regular-season strikeout of his career, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers all-time in Saturday night’s strikeout.
Kershaw, 34, overtook Dan Sutton, who last pitched for the Dodgers in 1988 and has been the franchise’s striker since 1979.
In Dodgers history, Kershaw was third at the start, fourth in wins and fifth in the pitched innings. Since 1920, he has had the lowest ERA of all time (2.48 before Saturday) and the average runner-up (MCA) of 1.00 in the opening pitches with at least 1,500 innings.
Kershaw hit Dustin Garno on the curveball, tying Sutton’s record 2,696 strikeouts in the second inning of the third inning to great acclaim from fans at Dodger Stadium. One round later he surprised Torkelson to slip to set a new mark.
A graphic depicting Kershaw as the franchise leader in strikeouts flashed on video boards and another standing ovation followed. Kershaw lifted his hat and nodded. Ready to throw again, he had to do it again for an audience that refused to break their enthusiasm for growing louder.
The pitching ace ended his night at work with six innings and seven strikeouts. Gave up a deserved run. The Dodgers eventually lost 5-1.