The year will be 2034, and we’ll likely still be having vintage Clayton Kershaw performance’s like tonight. Okay, most likely not, but the way he’s changed his game over the years, he very well can pitch into his 40’s should he choose.
On Thursday night, Kershaw threw six scoreless innings en route to his fifth win of the season as the Dodgers swept the D-Backs, beating them 5-1. For the night, Kershaw was un-hittable. No, he really was. Arizona didn’t record their first hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning, and it was an infield single.
Kershaw finished with eight strikeouts and only two walks in his outing. Had it not been for his high pitch count, he likely would have gone for another inning or two. The only time Arizona even had a runner in scoring position was in the fifth inning. After a walk and hit-by-pitch, they had two on with one out. Kershaw worked around the jam and escaped the inning untouched.
With two outs in the sixth, Christian Walker reached with an infield single. Enrique Hernandez made a great diving play to save the ball from going to the outfield, but he couldn’t get the throw to first in time.
One of his eight strikeouts on the night was historic, as Kershaw struck out the 2,500th batter of his career. Where did the time go?
2500 Ks!@ClaytonKersh22 is now the 39th pitcher ever to reach the mark. pic.twitter.com/5Em23Cl0G0— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 4, 2020
Clayton Kershaw is the 3rd-youngest pitcher in MLB history to reach 2,500 strikeouts. pic.twitter.com/WQx2jJGOPX— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) September 4, 2020
With his 3rd strikeout tonight, Clayton Kershaw now has 2,500 career strikeouts.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 4, 2020
He is the 11th left-handed pitcher to reach 2,500 K, and he's the only one of that group with a sub-3.00 career ERA. pic.twitter.com/z8CRdJichQ
Moving on to the offense, the Dodgers got things going immediately in the first inning. Corey Seager and Max Muncy had back-to-back singles in the first. A throwing error from Christian Walker at first base brought in the first run of the game. Chris Taylor then singled, bringing in the second run.
The offense would be silent until the seventh inning. AJ Pollock hit his seventh homer of the season to lead-off the inning.
AJ, you couldn't give them a few more seconds to go over promo? pic.twitter.com/ii4qJyC8UP— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 4, 2020
LA put their fourth run on the board after an RBI single from Mookie Betts.
They then put their fifth on the board in the eighth thanks to a single from Hernandez.
WP: Clayton Kershaw (5-1) 6 IP, 0 ER, 8 SO, 2 BB
LP: Luke Weaver (1-6) 5 1⁄3 IP, 2 ER, 5 SO
Home runs: AJ Pollock (7)
The Dodgers open up a three-game series on Friday night against the Rockies. Dustin May (1-1, 2.83 ERA) gets the start for LA. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. PT on SportsNet LA.