(CBSLA) — Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has become known over time for his struggles in the postseason. Lost in that conversation has been the fact that Kershaw’s wizardry has allowed him to rise up the leaderboard of most postseason strikeouts in league history. On Tuesday night, Kershaw moved up another spot on the leaderboard into second place all-time behind Justin Verlander.
In the fourth inning of his Game 1 start, Kershaw struck out Manuel Margot to record his 199th strikeout tying John Smoltz for 2nd-most all-time.READ MORE: LA County Supports Less Strict Threshold For Disneyland, Other Theme Parks To Reopen
And with that strikeout, Clayton Kershaw is now tied with John Smoltz for 2nd most in Postseason history! (199)
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 21, 2020
The following inning, Kershaw surpassed Smoltz by striking out Willy Adames for the 200th postseason strikeout of his career. Smoltz, who is serving as the analyst for FOX for the World Series broadcasts, took his mark being surpassed in stride. He would add another later in the inning striking out Mike Zunino for his 201st career postseason strikeout.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 21, 2020READ MORE: High-Definition Panorama Taken By Mars Rover Perseverance Shows Crater Rim, Cliff Face Of Ancient River Delta
The 32-year-old Kershaw is also now just the second pitcher ever to reach 200 career postseason strikeouts along with the aforementioned Verlander who has 205.
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The new achievement for Kershaw came on a night where he moved into fifth place in team history for most World Series starts since the organization moved to L.A. with 5.
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Most #WorldSeries starts for the Dodgers, since the move to LA:
1. Sandy Koufax – 7
t2. Don Drysdale – 6
t2. Burt Hooton – 6
t2. Don Sutton – 6
5. Clayton Kershaw – 5
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) October 21, 2020
Kershaw could theoretically surpass both the strikeout mark and the start mark in this World Series if it were to go seven games and he was able to make all three starts. He ended his Game 1 outing after six innings pitched, allowing just two hits, one run and one walk while striking out eight. That performance was good enough to earn him the win as the Dodgers beat the Rays 8-3.