Kershaw becomes second-quickest pitcher to reach 2,000 strikeouts

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Kershaw becomes second-quickest pitcher to reach 2,000 strikeouts

Los Angeles Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw became the second-quickest pitcher to reach 2,000 MLB career strikeouts when he punched out four batters in the first two innings against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kershaw – a six-time All-Star and National League (NL) MVP in 2014 – reached the milestone in 277 games. Only Randy Johnson (262 games) brought up the feat quicker.

The 29-year-old Kershaw is behind only Johnson and Pedro Martinez in innings pitched before recording 2,000 strikeouts.

Brewers second baseman Jonathan Villar was the victim of strikeout number 2,000 for Kershaw, who is also a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and Gold Glove recipient.

Kershaw is the fourth Dodgers pitcher to reach 2,000 strikeouts. Don Sutton (2,696), Don Drysdale (2,486) and Sandy Koufax (2,396) are all in the Hall of Fame.

Highlighted by a 301-strikeout season in 2015, Kershaw has been one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB since his arrival in 2008. 

Kershaw is now 78th all-time on the strikeout list, and still over 3,700 strikeouts behind Nolan Ryan.

His four strikeouts Friday tied him with former St Louis Cardinals pitcher Andy Benes. Next on the list would be Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter, who retired with 2,012 strikeouts. 

Following Friday's 14 strikeouts over seven innings, Kershaw will need just three Ks in his next outing to pass Hunter.