Clayton Kershaw in addition to keeping the Dodgers' 2015 season alive with his masterful performance in Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Mets also reached another milestone of sorts, continuing to climb the ladder on the Dodgers' strikeout charts.
With eight strikeouts in his seven innings on Tuesday, Kershaw now has 19 in the NLDS, and 320 on the year, counting the regular season. Kershaw struck out 33.8 percent of his batters faced in the regular season this year, and has struck out 35.8 percent in the playoffs.
That moves Kershaw into third most in one year by a Dodgers pitcher, with regular season and postseason combined.
Sandy Koufax has the top three regular season strikeout years in Dodgers in Dodgers history, with Kershaw's 301 strikeouts in 2015 coming in fourth. But with 317 strikeouts in 1966 followed by two in his only (and final) World Series start, Koufax amassed 319 strikeouts in his final season.
Should the Dodgers advance, he has a chance to surpass Koufax's 1963 season, which included 329 total strikeouts counting the World Series.
Koufax's 1965 campaign remains the gold standard in Dodgers history, with a then-record 382 strikeouts in the regular season and 29 more in the World Series, for an astonishing total of 411. Though it should be noted that Randy Johnson surpassed that mark with 372 regular season strikeouts and 47 postseason whiffs in 2001 for a whopping 419 in total.
This happened during Game 1 of the NLDS, but Kershaw also has the most strikeouts in Dodgers postseason history with 77 in 64⅓ innings. Koufax, who didn't have any rounds before the World Series, is second with 61 strikeouts in his 57 playoff innings.