CC Sabathia Gets 3000th Strikeout

CC Sabathia

New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has become the 17th member of the 3000 Strikeout Club. When Arizona Diamondbacks catcher John Ryan Murphy swung and missed a low changeup to become the final out of the second inning, Sabathia hit the milestone. He amassed five strikeouts in the game before leaving in the bottom of the sixth with the Yankees trailing, 2-1.

Career Strikeout Leaders (* = left-handed)

Yrs Active Strikeouts
1 Nolan Ryan 1966-1993 5714
2 Randy Johnson* 1988-2009 4875
3 Roger Clemens 1984-2007 4672
4 Steve Carlton* 1965-1988 4136
5 Bert Blyleven 1970-1992 3701
6 Tom Seaver 1967-1986 3640
7 Don Sutton 1966-1988 3574
8 Gaylord Perry 1962-1983 3534
9 Walter Johnson 1907-1927 3509
10 Greg Maddux 1986-2008 3371
11 Phil Niekro 1964-1987 3342
12 Fergie Jenkins 1965-1983 3192
13 Pedro Martinez 1992-2009 3154
14 Bob Gibson 1959-1975 3117
15 Curt Schilling 1988-2007 3116
16 John Smoltz 1988-2009 3084
17 CC Sabathia* 2001-present 3002


CC Sabathia Career Summary

Sabathia is in his 19th season. He pitched for the Cleveland Indians for seven full seasons. During his eighth season in Cleveland, he went to the Milwaukee Brewers in a mid-season trade. This deal saw Zach Jackson, Matt LaPorta, Rob Bryson, and, later, Michael Brantley go to Cleveland in return. After he joined the Brewers, he went 11-2 down the stretch with a 1.65 ERA, seven complete games, and three shutouts. His efforts helped the Brewers win the National League Wild Card – their first postseason appearance in 26 years and third in franchise history.

After the Brewers lost the Division Series, three games to one, to the Philadelphia Phillies, Sabathia became a hot commodity in free agency. During the Winter Meetings in late December, he signed a seven-year, $161 million contract with the New York Yankees, a contract that was later extended by two years and $50 million.

In his first year with the Yankees, he went 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA. He dazzled in the first two rounds of the playoffs, earning ALCS MVP after a 2-0, 1.13 ERA effort against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This led to Sabathia’s only appearance in the World Series, where the Yankees defeated the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies, four games to two.

His next three years were his last three all-star seasons to date. In 2011, he peaked, going 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA and 230 strikeouts, feats that have not been equaled by him since.

In his career, he has averaged 189 strikeouts per 162 team games. This ran his career total to 2986 at the end of 2018.

3000 Strikeout Club

3000 strikeouts by a pitcher is not commonplace, considering that Sabathia is only the 17th pitcher ever to do so. It, along with the 300 Win Club, is one of the two most prestigious career marks a pitcher can reach. The comparable club for hitting is the 3000 Hit Club, and there are 32 members.

Every retired member of the 3000 Strikeout Club is in the Hall of Fame, with two exceptions — Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling. Both reached about 60% of the available votes most recently. Since they each have up to three years left on the ballot, they most likely will eventually reach the 75% threshold necessary for election. With this history, Sabathia can be sure to join them when he retires.

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