Clayton Kershaw could match Sandy Koufax feats in final start

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Clayton Kershaw has a chance in his final start to reach a trio of personal milestones last accomplished by Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax.

The Dodgers have one more game left, which means one more opportunity to watch Clayton Kershaw pitch. Even though Wednesday's game against the Giants has no playoff implications, Kershaw will still take the mound, with medical clearance.

Kershaw has a chance to make some personal history on Wednesday. He is nine strikeouts behind R.A. Dickey of the Mets for the National League lead. Should Kershaw catch or pass Dickey, he will be the first Dodger to lead the league in strikeouts in consecutive seasons since Sandy Koufax in 1965-1966.

In 32 starts this season, Kershaw has struck out nine or more batters seven times.

Entering the final day of the regular season, Kershaw leads the NL with a 2.58 ERA, and Cliff Lee is the only other pitcher in the top 10 to pitch on Wednesday. But even if Lee pitches a nine-inning shutout his ERA would decrease from 3.12 to 2.98, which would leave Lee in eighth place, nowhere close to the top.

Dickey is second in the league with a 2.7347 ERA, with 71 earned runs allowed in 233⅔ innings. For Kershaw to remain tops in the league, he would need to...

  • Allow three runs or less
  • Allow four runs in one inning or longer
  • Allow five runs in 4⅓ innings or longer
  • Allow six runs in 7⅔ innings or longer

Kershaw led the NL with a 2.28 ERA in 2011. Koufax, who lead the league in ERA from 1962-1966 is the only Dodger to lead the league in ERA in consecutive seasons.

Kershaw's 147 ERA+ is currently second to Johnny Cueto's 151. For Kershaw to reach a 151 ERA he would need roughly a 2.51 ERA, given the current park factors listed by Baseball-Reference.com. In order for Kershaw to get there on Wednesday he would need to either pitch six or more scoreless innings or allow one run in 9⅔ innings or longer.

Kershaw also leads the league with a 1.033 WHIP. In order to stay ahead of second place Matt Cain's 1.040 WHIP, Kershaw would need to allow...

  • Zero or one hits/walks
  • Two hits/walks in ⅔ innings or longer
  • Three hits/walks in 1⅔ innings or longer
  • Four hits/walks in 2⅔ innings or longer
  • Five hits/walks in 3⅔ innings or longer
  • Six hits/walks in 4⅔ innings or longer
  • Seven hits/walks in 5⅔ innings or longer
  • Eight hits/walks in 6⅔ innings or longer
  • Nine hits/walks in 7⅔ innings or longer
  • Ten hits/walks in 8⅓ innings or longer

Kershaw led the league with a 0.977 WHIP last season. Koufax (1962-1965) was the last Dodger to lead the league in WHIP in consecutive seasons.

Game Time: 4:15 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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