Max Scherzer became the 19th pitcher in MLB history to reach the 3,000 strikeout milestone on Sunday. With him reaching that number, it got me thinking about how long it’ll be until we see Clayton Kershaw reach that milestone.
At the moment, Kershaw has 2,653 career strikeouts. He’s 347 away. Upon first look, that number definitely seems doable at some point during the 2023 season. Kershaw has a few more starts to close out the season. If I were to guess, he probably has three left. For the sake of this article, let’s say he gets 17 strikeouts and enters 2022 only 330 away.
Over his last three seasons, Kershaw is averaging 6.63 strikeouts per start. That seems like a solid pace, but as he continues to get up there in age we’ll bring him down to 6.5 strikeouts per start. If he were to average 6.5 strikeouts per start moving forward, that means he would need to make 51 starts to reach that number.
If he’s able to remain healthy and make around 23-26 starts a season, there’s a strong chance Kershaw can hit that number near the end of the 2023 season. Obviously, a lot can happen though. He can hit that number sooner and he could also hit it later, if he’s even still pitching in 2024.
The number is certainly in reach, but based on his health and when he wants to return, there’s no guarantee he reaches that number.
Personally, I think he’ll get there and he’ll do it in a Dodgers uniform.