Clayton Kershaw breaks Dodgers’ strikeout record in loss to Tigers
Clayton Kershaw entered the season chasing history. He finally caught it in the fourth inning Saturday when he fanned Detroit’s Spencer Torkelson to break Don Sutton’s Dodgers record for career strikeouts.
But that was about all the Dodgers had to cheer, as they fell behind after Kershaw left the game and lost to the Tigers 5-1.
Torkelson’s weak swing and miss, Kershaw’s fourth strikeout of the night, brought the Dodger Stadium crowd of 52,613 to its feet for an ovation while Kershaw circled around the mound, then doffed his cap to the fans, seemingly anxious for the game to resume.
Yet for a moment Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers first baseman, couldn’t help but feel for Torkelson.
Clayton Kershaw has surpassed Sandy Koufax as Dodgers’ greatest pitcher
Spencer Torkelson flailed, and Dodger Stadium shook.
Clayton Kershaw shoved his cap into the air, and Dodger Stadium screamed.
The cool April air was filled with a whiff of greatness Saturday night as a sweating, jabbing Dodgers lefty punched out a record and took his place at the top of a rotation of legends.
In the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers, on an 89-mph slider that was as unhittable as it was historic, Kershaw recorded his 2,697th career strikeout to pass Don Sutton to become the Dodgers’ all-time leader.
In doing so, he cemented his status as something far more enduring.
Clayton Kershaw is the greatest Dodgers pitcher ever.
Dodgers lose to Tigers 5-1 on Clayton Kershaw’s historic night
The Dodgers lost for the third time in four games Saturday, falling 5-1 to the Detroit Tigers on the night Clayton Kershaw became the franchise’s all-time strikeouts leader.
Tigers closer Gregory Soto retired the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the ninth, using 100-mph-range heat to thwart Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger.
The two teams meet again Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PDT.
Tigers take a 5-1 lead over the Dodgers in eighth
Top of the eighth: Tucker Barnhart hit a run-scoring double off Dodgers reliever Reyes Moronta to give the Detroit Tigers a 5-1 lead.
Jeimer Candelario reached base on a one-out liner to second that lost just enough momentum for him to barely beat Trea Turner’s throw to first. Candelario was initially called out before the call was reversed on review. Barnhart’s liner into the right-field corner on the next at-bat gave Candelario enough time to reach home.
After Barnhart’s double, Moronta struck out Derek Hill and Robbie Grossman to cap the frame.
Bottom of the eighth: Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner all go down in order. The Tigers have retired 13 of the last 14 Dodgers batters.
⚾ End of the eighth: Tigers 5, Dodgers 1
Tigers take 4-1 lead into the eighth inning
Top of the seventh: Detroit’s Javier Baez and Austin Meadows each drove in runs to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
Baez hit a run-scoring double down the right-field line off Dodgers reliever Evan Phillips before Meadows drove in Harold Castro and Baez on a well-placed chopper just out of the reach of shortstop Trea Turner.
Baez’s hit plated Jeimer Candelario, who reached base after Phillips hit him with a pitch to leadoff the inning. Castro then followed up with a single and advanced to third on Baez’s drive. Phillips struck out Derek Hill and Robbie Grossman before Baez’s hit.
Brusadar Graterol, tasked with getting the final out of the inning, walked Miguel Cabrera before giving up the Meadows hit. He then struck out rookie Spencer Torkelson.
The Dodgers need to get going on offense — they’ve been held to three hits, with their last hit coming in the fourth inning.
Bottom of the seventh: Cody Bellinger battled Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez to a 12-pitch walk to leadoff the frame. After Jimenez struck out Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux singed to left field, leading to Michael Fulmer taking over on the mound. He then got Austin Barnes to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Reyes Moronta, who finished Friday’s win over the Tigers, will be on the mound for the Dodgers in the eighth.
⚾ End of the seventh: Tigers 4, Dodgers 1
Clayton Kershaw’s historic night comes to an end; game tied 1-1
Top of the sixth: Another effective inning for Clayton Kershaw, who ends his night at 85 pitches. He allowed a walk to Austin Meadows, but got Miguel Cabrera, Spencer Torkelson and Jonathan Schoop to ground out. Kershaw allowed four hits, one earned run, two walks and struck out seven.
Evan Phillips will take over in relief of Kershaw in the seventh.
Bottom of the sixth: Tigers reliever Jacob Barnes retires Trea Turner, Max Muncy and Justin Turner in order.
⚾ End of the sixth: Tigers 1, Dodgers 1
Dodgers and Tigers tied heading into the sixth inning
Top of the fifth: Clayton Kershaw oversees a 1-2-3 inning, picking up the 2,700th strikeout of his career against Detroit’s Robbie Grossman.
Bottom of the fifth: Austin Barnes, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman were retired in order.
End of the fifth: Tigers 1, Dodgers 1
Clayton Kershaw becomes Dodgers’ all-time strikeouts leader
Top of the fourth: Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers’ new strikeout king.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner became the Dodgers’ all-time strikeouts leader Saturday, getting Detroit’s Spencer Torkelson to whiff on an 84-mph slider to break Don Sutton’s 43-year-old franchise record.
It was Kershaw’s 2,697th career strikeout. He struck out the side in the inning, giving him 2,699 career punchouts. Receiving a standing ovation from fans in attendance at Dodger Stadium, Kershaw tipped his cap in appreciation before continuing the inning.
For more on the significance of Kershaw passing Sutton, be sure to check out this story from Dodgers beat writer Jack Harris:
Clayton Kershaw appreciates significance of Dodgers strikeout record
Bottom of the fourth: Justin Turner led off with a 14-pitch at-bat against Tigers starter Beau Brieske that ended in a pop fly to center field. Two batters later, Chris Taylor doubled to left, but was left stranded when Gavin Lux grounded out to first.
⚾ End of the fourth: Tigers 1, Dodgers 1
Tigers tie game on Javier Baez’s run-scoring single; Clayton Kershaw tied with Sutton
Top of the third: Javier Baez hit a run-scoring single off Clayton Kershaw to score Derek Hill and tie the game 1-1.
Hill hit a two-out double into left field after Kershaw struck out Dustin Garneau to tie Don Sutton’s mark of 2,696 strikeouts in Dodger blue.
With fans at Dodger Stadium standing and cheering in hopes of seeing Kershaw break the record, he gave up a double to Hill, walked Robbie Grossman and then allowed the Baez single.
Miguel Cabrera lined out to first to end the frame.
Bottom of the third: Trea Turner walked to extend his on-bases streak, but that was the only highlight of the inning for the Dodgers.
⚾ End of third: Tigers 1, Dodgers 1
Clayton Kershaw two strikeouts away from setting Dodgers record
Top of the second: Clayton Kershaw retired the Tigers in order again, striking out Spencer Torkelson in the process to move to within one strikeout of tying Don Sutton for the most strikeouts in Dodgers history at 2,969 punchouts.
For more on Kershaw’s pending feat, be sure to check out this story from Dodgers beat writer Jack Harris:
Clayton Kershaw appreciates significance of Dodgers strikeout record
Bottom the second: Tigers starter Beau Brieske struck out Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor before Gavin Lux popped out behind third base to cap the frame.
⚾ End of the second: Dodgers 1, Tigers 0
Mookie Betts hits leadoff homer; Clayton Kershaw strikes out first batter
Bottom of the first inning: Mookie Betts hit a leadoff home run off Tigers starter Beau Brieske to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The big blast to center field was Betts’ third home run of the season.
Top of the first inning: Clayton Kershaw struck out Robbie Grossman to open the game, and is three strikeouts away from breaking Don Sutton’s Dodgers record of 2,696 strikeouts. It was a 1-2-3 inning for Kershaw and the Dodgers.
⚾ End of the first: Dodgers 1, Tigers 0
Q&A: What comes next for Trevor Bauer in his suspension fight against MLB?
Fourteen months ago, the Dodgers signed Trevor Bauer, fortifying their roster for a World Series championship defense with the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, a hometown star who played at UCLA.
Bauer signed for three years. On Friday, Bauer’s Dodgers career might have come to an end.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Bauer for two seasons, beyond the expiration of his contract with the Dodgers.
Like Don Sutton, Clayton Kershaw appreciates significance of Dodgers strikeout record
Of all the accolades from his Hall of Fame career, being the Dodgers franchise strikeout leader was one of the distinctions Don Sutton cherished the most.
Not because his record total of 2,696 was any round number. Or because the mark stood for the last 41 years of his life, from the time he set it in 1979 to his death in 2021.
Instead, what made it special to Sutton were the names he passed along the way — legends such as Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale who were once his mentors and role models with whom he became forever linked.
“Being a part of the history of the franchise meant a lot to him,” Sutton’s son, Daron, said. “He always made me aware of those that helped him get to where he was. And those were the two guys on the list that he was chasing.”
Dodgers knew Trevor Bauer was a risk, and now they’re paying the price
Trevor Bauer has made 17 starts for the Dodgers, and he probably won’t make any more after he was suspended on Friday for two seasons for violating baseball’s sexual assault and domestic violence policy.
In which case, the Dodgers will have paid him a total of $41.5 million.
Or about $2.4 million a start.
That’s more than double the rate the New York Yankees paid for each of the 30 games Gerrit Cole pitched last season.
How’s that for irony?
When Bauer’s three-year agreement was finalized in February of last year, the Dodgers viewed the contract as a steal.
MLB is right to suspend Trevor Bauer. Now the Dodgers need to banish him from team
Thank you, Major League Baseball.
See ya, Trevor Bauer.
One of the darkest sagas in Dodgers history took a historic step toward closure Friday when baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred finally left the dugout and did the right thing.
He yanked Bauer off the mound for two seasons and hopefully out of a Dodgers uniform forever.
In a record-setting penalty for violating the league’s sexual assault and domestic violence policy, Bauer was suspended for 324 games, or roughly the time remaining on his Dodgers contract.
ICYMI: Dodgers mum on Trevor Bauer suspension but are plenty loud in win over Tigers
The closest any Dodgers player came to commenting on Trevor Bauer’s two-year suspension Friday night was this exchange with Clayton Kershaw when reporters approached him at his locker before the game.
Kershaw: “What’s this about?”
The Times’ Dylan Hernandez: “You know …”
Kershaw grinned: “I can’t talk about that. Everybody’s day good?”
A few hours later, the answer from several teammates was a resounding yes. The Dodgers opened a five-game homestand with a 5-1 win over the Detroit Tigers by taking an early lead and riding a stellar start from Tyler Anderson.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season
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