In 2015, the Dodgers left-hander had 12 games with 10 or more strikeouts through Sept. 22, giving him 41 for his career. His total of 41 ranks him 24th, but far from the leaders Nolan Ryan (215) and Randy Johnson (212), who have distanced themselves from the extraordinary club of big league strikeout artists.
Kershaw, who leads the majors with 272 strikeouts this season, is on pace to break the 300 barrier and become the 14th pitcher since 1900 to whiff 300-plus batters in a season.
He has fanned 200 or more batters in each of the last six campaigns, joining Tom Seaver (9), Roger Clemens (7), Walter Johnson (7), Sandy Koufax (6), Bert Blyleven (6), Randy Johnson (6), Mickey Lolich (6), Sam McDowell (6), and Felix Hernandez (6) for the most consecutive 200-strikeout seasons. Hernandez is 15 Ks away from increasing his streak to seven consecutive 200-strikeout seasons this year.
“It’s cool when you get to be associated with those guys,” Kershaw said when he joined Koufax and Don Drysdale for the most 200-strikeouts seasons in a Dodgers uniform. “It’s not the most important thing in the world, but it’s definitely cool.”
It’s also cool for him to be ranked among the top double-digit strikeout hurlers of all time.