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Clayton Kershaw’s career, 100 walks at a time

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Andrew McCutchen on Wednesday night was Kershaw’s 600th career walk

Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw walked Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen in the fifth inning on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, becoming the 12th active pitcher to walk 600 hitters.

While that sounds like a lot — he’s the 15th Dodger to walk that many — what’s more interesting is the progression throughout his career. Kershaw this season has 15 walks in 15 starts, and his 4.2-percent walk rate is the seventh-best in baseball.

Kershaw’s walk rate has been 4.7 percent or lower in seven of his last eight seasons. It’s a far cry from early Kershaw, whose 91 walks in 2009, his first qualified season as a starter, were the third-most in the National League.

With that in mind, here’s a look at Kershaw’s career in 100-walk chunks.

Clayton Kershaw, in 100-walk chunks

Walks Milestone walk Date Innings ERA Batters faced Strikeouts BB rate K rate
Walks Milestone walk Date Innings ERA Batters faced Strikeouts BB rate K rate
1-100 Jason Hammel Jul 1, 2009 192.7 3.97 827 186 12.1% 22.5%
101-200 Freddy Sanchez Aug 1, 2010 217.0 2.57 891 237 11.2% 26.6%
201-300 Adam Dunn Jun 15, 2012 397.7 2.49 1,573 406 6.4% 25.8%
301-400 Devin Mesoraco May 28, 2014 406.3 2.15 1,588 422 6.3% 26.6%
401-500 Avisail Garcia Jul 18, 2017 679.3 1.87 2,555 827 3.9% 32.4%
501-600 Andrew McCutchen Jun 16, 2021 527.0 2.89 2,095 548 4.8% 26.2%

The 4.8-percent walk rate from walk 500 to 600 is the second-lowest of any 100-walk section, trailing only the stretch from May 28, 2014 to July 28, 2017, which included most of an MVP season, a 300-strikeout season and three other top-five Cy Young finishes. and produced a paltry 1.87 ERA.

Kershaw’s 548 strikeouts in between career walks 500 and 600 are his second-most of any 100-walk chunk, though his strikeout rate in the last 100-walk chunk is right in line with his rates in between walks 100 and 400.