Clayton Kershaw may not be pleased with his outing in the Dodgers’ win Tuesday night but the left-hander passed Sandy Koufax in career wins.
The Dodgers’ offense may have stolen the show Tuesday night, blasting their way to the Dodgers’ 83rd win of the season but it was their starting pitcher that made history. Clayton Kershaw pitched six innings to pick up the win and pass Sandy Koufax in career wins with win number 166 for his career. The most for any lefty in Dodger history.
Sandy Koufax pitched twelve seasons and appeared in 397 games to notch 165 wins. This is Clayton Kershaw’s twelfth season and he has appeared in 340 regular-season games. While Koufax didn’t out his career starting as many games as Kershaw did, Sandy did start forty or more games in 1963 and 1966.
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With 166 wins, Kershaw now stands alone at number five on the Dodgers’ all-time wins list and is eleven wins behind Brickyard Kennedy for fourth all-time in Dodgers’ history. The top spot is held by Don Sutton who finished with 233 career wins in Dodger blue so Clayton still needs a handful of solid seasons if he is going to set a new record.
In order to have a chance at surpassing 233 wins, Clayton would need to pitch beyond the remaining two years on his contract. If he stays healthy he should be able to pitch beyond his deal if he wants to, given his ability to work with diminished velocity and use his slider. Then there is still the off chance he finally develops that elusive changeup.
Kershaw is most likely unhappy with his outing Tuesday as he gave up three runs on three solo home runs, but he remained consistent making it through six innings. He has made 22 starts this season including tonight’s start and he has made it through at least six innings in all of them. It was also Kershaw’s 19th quality start out of 22 starts.
While Clayton lacked his signature command, he limited the damage to solo home runs. He threw just 55 of his 89 pitches for strikes and walked three but still was able to work around the traffic and come away with yet another quality start. In his next outing, he will take on the New York Yankees in a highly anticipated showdown.