MLB

Kershaw 'didn't know fans would care' after breaking Dodgers' strikeout record

By Sports Desk May 01, 2022

Clayton Kershaw was moved and a little surprised by the reception he was granted after breaking the Los Angeles Dodgers' long-standing strikeout record.

Kershaw, who has spent his entire MLB career with the Dodgers, recorded his 2,697th regular season strikeout in the fourth inning of Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, later adding three more to finish the game with 2,700.

Hall of Famer Don Sutton had held the record with 2,696 strikeouts, which no other Dodgers pitcher had come close to matching since his 1988 retirement until now.

Kershaw and Sutton are two of only four pitchers with over 2,000 strikeouts for the Dodgers, along with Don Drysdale (2,486) and Sandy Koufax (2,396), who were team-mates in the 1950s and 1960s.

Kershaw's achievement was greeted with a standing ovation and the game was paused as he raised his cap to the LA crowd.

"It's special," Kershaw said afterwards. "I didn't expect it.

"I understand that the Dodgers are a historic franchise and have been around a long time, so the guys that are on that list that I was fortunate enough to pass was a big deal.

"But I didn't know that fans would know or honestly care that much. It was special for me. It really was. It was cool to see.

"I tried to brush it off and keep going, but they wouldn't let me. It definitely meant a lot."

Only 25 pitchers have now recorded more strikeouts than Kershaw in the major leagues, including Sutton (3,574), who ranks seventh all-time having also turned out for the Houston Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Oakland Athletics and the then California Angels.

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