Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was masterful Thursday against the Seattle Mariners. The three-time National League Cy Young winner struck out 11 batters in seven innings. With the K's, Kershaw moved into second place on the Dodgers' all-time strikeout list.
In his 13th MLB season, Kershaw has recorded 2,487 strikeouts, which moves him ahead of Hall of Famer Don Drysdale. Kershaw trails Hall of Famer Don Sutton, who sits atop the leaderboard after he struck out 2,696 in 16 seasons with the Dodgers. To tie Drysdale, Kershaw got Mariners second baseman Shed Long to strikeout swinging in the fifth inning:
Kershaw, 32, only gave up one run in his fourth start of the 2020 season, a solo shot from Kyle Seager in the fourth inning. Seattle took 25 swings at Kershaw's slider and whiffed on 12 of them. The final line:
Kershaw was set to be the Dodgers' Opening Day starter this season, but lower back issues forced him onto the injured list. But, he bounced back quickly to make his first start of the season on Aug. 3 where he showed off a bit of rediscovered velocity. Thursday's start was the southpaw's second consecutive dominant performance in 2020 after he threw seven innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts against the Angels.
When CBS Sports MLB writers were polled on current players' Baseball Hall of Fame chances this past offseason, Kershaw was one of six unanimous selections. During the 2018 offseason, Kershaw could have used the opt-out in his contract to become a free agent, but instead agreed to a new pact with Los Angeles to keep him with the club through 2021.
Kershaw has been a Dodger since they drafted him out of Highland Park High School in Dallas with the seventh overall pick of the 2006 MLB Draft. Kershaw will continue to chase after his first World Series title. After back-to-back World Series appearances in 2018 and 2017, the Dodgers fell short of earning their first title since 1988.