LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw struck out Ian Desmond of the Nationals in the second inning on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, the third strikeout of the night for Kershaw and his 200th of the season, triggering several milestones.
Desmond was Kershaw's 606th batter faced this season, making Kershaw the fastest Dodgers pitcher ever to 200 strikeouts in a season, beating Kershaw's 2014 season, when he took 625 batters to reach 200.
Kershaw was at 156 innings at the time of his 200th strikeout, tying for the fastest in Dodgers history, matching Hideo Nomo, who also needed 156 innings in 1995.
This is the sixth straight season with 200 strikeouts for Kershaw, joining Sandy Koufax (1961-1966) as the only Dodgers ever to do that. Kershaw, Koufax and Don Drysdale are tied for the most 200-strikeout seasons in franchise history, with six.
Kershaw joins Koufax and Tom Seaver (nine straight, 1968-76) as the only National League pitchers since 1900 with at least six straight years of 200 strikeouts, per ESPN Stats & Info.
"It's cool when you get to be associated with those guys," Kershaw said. "It's not the most important thing in the world, but it's definitely cool."
Kershaw ended his night with eight strikeouts and leads the majors this season with 205. The only other pitcher with an active streak of six straight 200-strikeout seasons is Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, who turned the trick from 2009-2014 and has 145 strikeouts so far in 2015.
"I like consistency. You start looking around, the Mark Buehrle streak, the Dan Harens, the guys that don't go on the DL, the guys who are around for a long time," Kershaw said. "I have a lot of respect for those guys. Hopefully in 10 years or so I'll be in that category."
Since his major league debut on May 25, 2008, Kershaw's 1,650 strikeouts are the most in baseball, 24 more than Hernandez, the only hurler during that span with at least 1,600 strikeouts.