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Clayton Kershaw breaks Dodgers strikeout record, passing Don Sutton

2,700 strikeouts and counting for Kershaw

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

No pitcher in the 139-year history of the Dodgers has more strikeouts than Clayton Kershaw. The left-hander got Spencer Torkelson of the Tigers in the fourth inning on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, passing Hall of Famer Don Sutton for the all-time franchise lead.

Torkelson was Kershaw’s fourth strikeout on Saturday, number 2,697 in Kershaw’s career. It was finished off by the slider, which has ended 20 of the left-hander’s 30 strikeouts so far this season.

Kershaw ended his night with seven strikeouts in six innings, allowing one run. He has 2,700 career strikeouts.

Sutton passed Don Drysdale for the top spot on the Dodgers’ strikeout list on August 5, 1979 against San Francisco. Sutton’s 42 years and eight months holding the franchise strikeout record is the longest reign of any Dodgers pitcher. Dazzy Vance held the mark for 37 years and one month, from 1928 to 1965 when Sandy Koufax passed him.

Dodgers strikeout leaders

Pitcher Strikeouts Kershaw passed
Pitcher Strikeouts Kershaw passed
Clayton Kershaw 2,697 n/a
Don Sutton 2,696 Apr 30, 2022
Don Drysdale 2,486 Aug 20, 2020
Sandy Koufax 2,396 Aug 1, 2019
Dazzy Vance 1,918 Apr 3, 2017

Those four Hall of Fame pitchers now hold the Nos. 2 though 5 spots on the all-time Dodgers list. Kershaw one day will join them in Cooperstown.

Austin Barnes caught Kershaw on Saturday, the third time this season behind the plate for Kershaw and 61st time catching him in his career. Kershaw has 399 strikeouts with Barnes behind the plate, third-most among catchers, behind only A.J. Ellis (920 strikeouts) and Yasmani Grandal (451).

Kershaw walked Robbie Grossman in the third inning, his first walk issued this season, which came after 26 strikeouts. That included 13 strikeouts in seven perfect innings on April 13 in Minnesota in his first start of the year. It’s the most strikeouts without a walk to begin a season for Kershaw in his 15-year career.

At any point in the season, Kershaw’s most strikeouts without a walk is 46, from July 3 to August 1, 2015.

Kershaw’s 2,700 strikeouts rank 26th on MLB’s all-time list. He’s fourth in strikeouts among active pitchers, trailing Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Zack Greinke, all of whom are at least three years older than the 34-year-old Kershaw.