[144] He returned to the mound on September 1,[145] but despite his extended absence, he went on to lead the National League in earned run average and wins. [221], In mid-December 2015, Kershaw participated in an expedition to Cuba composed of MLB officials and players, including former Dodgers manager Joe Torre. As a result, the Dodgers chose to place him on the injured list to begin the season, ending his Dodgers record streak of eight straight opening day starts. [90], After the season, Kershaw and the Dodgers agreed on a seven-year, $215 million, contract extension. [15] He also pitched for USA Baseball's Junior National Team in the Pan Am Championship. He also consistently lands low on the strike zone below the catcher's knees, causing batters to chase the ball even when it is clearly going to hit the dirt. [59] In the month of July, Kershaw was 4–1 with a 2.02 ERA and NL-leading 45 strikeouts, earning him the National League Pitcher of the Month Award. [72] Kershaw won the National League's Player of the Week Award for the week of May 14–20 after he made two starts during that week and pitched 16 scoreless innings, including his fourth career shutout. [32] Kershaw was 0–3 and had a 2.28 ERA with 47 strikeouts through 43​1⁄3 innings pitched in his first stint of the year with the Suns. [95] On June 18, he pitched a complete game no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies and struck out a career-high 15 batters. [92], Kershaw made his fourth straight opening day start for the Dodgers in 2014, only the fourth Dodger ever to do so.

[91] The average annual value of $30.7 million was also the largest ever for a baseball player, beating the $28 million Roger Clemens received in 2007 and the 10-year, $275 million contract that Alex Rodriguez signed that same year. He pitched six-plus shutout innings, allowing four hits, a walk, and he struck out five. Will Smith homering off Will Smith, Astros rekindle memories of '04 Red Sox in ALCS, 'Dangerous' Seager hits 2 HRs, L.A. stays alive, Braves' Minter K's 7 in 3 innings in starting debut, Ex-Angels employee indicted in Skaggs' OD death, MLB players extend COVID-free streak to 47 days, Braves rookie outduels Kershaw as L.A. on brink, Could the 2020 Astros join the 2004 Red Sox on Saturday? [153] He came back in game seven to pitch four scoreless innings of relief in the game, and in the process, he broke Orel Hershiser's Dodgers post-season record with his 33rd strikeout. [218], Kershaw is a celebrity endorser for Wilson Sporting Goods (glove), Under Armour (shoes), Muscle Milk, Skechers[228] and Subway.

[64] Kershaw also became just the second lefthander to have a 240-plus strikeouts in a season before the age of 24, joining Vida Blue. [64], After the season, Kershaw was awarded the Warren Spahn Award as the best left-handed pitcher in 2011,[65] the Players Choice Award for Most Outstanding National League pitcher,[66] the Gold Glove Award as the top fielding pitcher in the NL[67] and the Sporting News (TSN) National League Pitcher of the Year. [129] On May 12 against the New York Mets, he struck out 13 while pitching a three-hit complete game shutout. LeBron James was called not clutch after 2011 and has had looneys hanging on to that ridiculousness despite him being an absolute monster in big spots ever since. [178] He has often said that he modeled his pitching mechanics after his favorite pitcher growing up, Roger Clemens. [83] On September 2, Kershaw picked up his 200th strikeout of 2013, joining Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale as the only starters in Dodgers history with at least four consecutive seasons of more than 200 strikeouts. [103][105][106], However, in his first start of the playoffs, in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Cardinals, Kershaw became the first pitcher in history to strike out 10 while allowing eight runs. Clayton Edward Kershaw (born March 19, 1988) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He became the first Dodger starter to have back-to-back complete game victories since Jeff Weaver in the 2005 season and the first Dodger to have double-digit strikeouts in consecutive starts since Chan-Ho Park in the 2000 season. He became the first Dodgers starter with back-to-back games of at least 13 strikeouts since Chan Ho Park in 2000, and the first Dodgers pitcher with back-to-back games of double-digit strikeouts and no walks since Dazzy Vance in 1930. [118], Kershaw did not make the initial NL roster for the 2015 All-Star Game, though he was included on the Final Vote ballot, which he lost to Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez. [139], Kershaw made his seventh straight Opening Day start, tying Don Sutton for most consecutive Opening Day starts, and Sutton and Don Drysdale for most total opening day starts by a Dodger. [87], Kershaw won the Warren Spahn Award for 2013, the second time he had won the award, which honors the best left-handed pitcher in the Major Leagues. With a then-career high of 248 strikeouts thrown during the 2011 season, combined with additional donations through his Kershaw's Challenge organization, the initial $70,000 goal - later increased to $100,000 - was exceeded.

[158] He returned to the team for one start on May 31, during which he experienced a recurrence of his chronic back pain and was put back on the disabled list. Out of the windup, Kershaw lowers his right foot vertically with a slight pause before moving it forward toward the plate. I've got to figure things out. Three changeups away. It became his fifth straight all-star selection, joining Sandy Koufax and Fernando Valenzuela as the only Dodgers pitchers to accomplish that feat. Is it too much to ask for a signature start from a future Hall of Famer? [126] He rebounded in game four, earning the win on three days' rest by allowing one run and three hits against eight strikeouts in seven innings on October 13. [113] The following day, he was elected as the NL MVP, the first National League pitcher to win the award since Bob Gibson in 1968 and the first Dodgers player to win the award since Kirk Gibson in 1988. [156], Kershaw made his team-record eighth opening-day start in 2018. He was the first pitcher to throw a shutout and hit a home run on opening day since Bob Lemon of the Cleveland Indians did so against the Chicago White Sox on April 14, 1953. [138] He struggled in Game Six, allowing five runs in five innings to pick up the loss as the Dodgers were eliminated from post-season contention. The elder Kershaw remarried after his divorce from Marianne and died in 2013. [54] On May 29, he pitched the second complete-game shutout of his career, striking out 10 while winning a two-hitter against the Florida Marlins, 8–0; he also had two singles and an RBI, scoring twice in the game. Back to the windup, and one fastball inside, one fastball away. [60] On August 23, he struck out Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals for his 200th strikeout of the season and became the 10th Dodger pitcher to record back-to-back 200 strikeout seasons and the first since Chan-Ho Park did it in the 2001 season. [127] Kershaw finished third in the National League Cy Young Award voting, placing behind teammate Zack Greinke and eventual winner Jake Arrieta.[128]. He was the second youngest Dodger to reach that mark, behind only Fernando Valenzuela.

In the eighth inning Kershaw allowed home runs on back-to-back pitches to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto to surrender a 3–1 lead, and the Nationals won the game and the series. [36] Sportswriter Tony Jackson called Kershaw's debut the most anticipated start by a Dodgers pitcher since Hideo Nomo's MLB debut during the 1995 season. Now Kershaw will take the ball with his Dodgers down 2-1 in this best-of-seven NLCS. [162] He then started the opener of the 2018 NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers, but turned in the shortest postseason start of his career, replaced with no outs in the fourth inning after allowing five runs on six hits and two walks.