Clayton Kershaw in 100-inning chunks

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A look back at the first 1,000 innings in the career of the wonderful Clayton Kershaw.

Clayton Kershaw continued his dominance on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over the Nationals. He came within one out of a shutout, and threw a career-high 132 pitches while striking out 11 in his latest gem.

The man who led the major leagues in ERA in both 2011 and 2012 stands atop the major league leaderboard again in 2013 with a sparkling 1.40 ERA.

The last Dodger to throw 130 pitches in a game was another left-hander, Odalis Perez, on Apr. 30, 2003, who also pitched 8⅔ innings of scoreless baseball, also walked one, and also struck out 11.

In his last 14 starts, dating back to 2012, Kershaw has allowed 17 runs, and just 13 earned runs.

Kershaw's ERA in his last 57 starts is 1.99.

But more importantly, Kershaw with his first inning strikeout of Danny Espinosa on Tuesday, the first batter of the game, crossed the threshold of 1,000 innings pitched. That allows Kershaw entrance to the all-time leaderboards and, as it currently stands Kershaw's 2.70 ERA is the best ERA by a starting pitcher in the live ball era (1920-present), something we all knew about a week and a half ago.

Kershaw (2.704) is ahead of Whitey Ford (2.745) among starters, and the only relievers with 1,000 innings with better ERA are Mariano Rivera (2.205) and Hoyt Wilhelm (2.523). But it's important to note that Kershaw hasn't had his decline phase yet, though it could be argued that he also hasn't hit his peak, a scary thought for the rest of the National League.

Kershaw's mark is still impressive though, as the only four live-ball pitchers I could find to top Kershaw's 2.73 ERA at the 1,000-inning mark of their careers were Tom Seaver (2.385), Dwight Gooden (2.485), Frank Tanana (2.574), and Lon Warneke (2.664).

Now that Kershaw has hit that 1,000 inning mark, it might be interesting to look back at how he has progressed. I broke down his career in 100-inning increments, and the results are below. This involved parsing games (for instance, the first out Tuesday counted in one block of 100 innings, while the other 25 outs started a new block of 100 innings.

Kershaw ERA

  • Innings 1-100: 4.32
  • 101-200: 3.33
  • 201-300: 2.34
  • 301-400: 3.15
  • 401-500: 2.43
  • 501-600: 3.15
  • 601-700: 1.62
  • 701-800: 2.34
  • 801-900: 3.24
  • 901-1,000: 1.35

Kershaw WHIP

  • Innings 1-100: 1.490
  • 101-200: 1.390
  • 201-300: 1.250
  • 301-400: 1.150
  • 401-500: 1.090
  • 501-600: 1.030
  • 601-700: 0.950
  • 701-800: 0,970
  • 801-900: 0.980
  • 901-1,000: 1.010

Kershaw walks/strikeouts

  • Innings 1-100: 48/91
  • 101-200: 57/103
  • 201-300: 56/116
  • 301-400: 37/109
  • 401-500: 29/100
  • 501-600: 29/106
  • 601-700: 19/105
  • 701-800: 22/90
  • 801-900: 24/106
  • 901-1,000: 36/105

Kershaw home runs allowed

  • Innings 1-100: 11
  • 101-200: 5
  • 201-300: 4
  • 301-400: 5
  • 401-500: 8
  • 501-600: 6
  • 601-700: 5
  • 701-800: 9
  • 801-900: 7
  • 901-1,000: 6

No matter how you slice it, Kershaw has had quite a career to date.

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