When fans made their way to Progressive Field today, they had no idea the history they would witness.
In the third inning of a battle between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, Red Sox southpaw Chris Sale became the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 2,000 strikeouts. Sale came into the game needing just five strikeouts to reach the 2,000 mark. The milestone moment came in the third inning against Indians center fielder Oscar Mercado. On an 81 mph slider, Sale cemented himself in history by reaching the mark in just 1,626 innings.
Chris Sale Reaches 2,000 Strikeouts in Record Time
An Exclusive Club
Sale’s journey to the 2,000 strikeout club has him among elite company — including Pedro Martinez. The Hall of Famer held the previous record as he reached the mark in just over 1,711 innings. Fellow Hall of Famer Randy Johnson held the mark for some time as well at 1,733.1 innings. Sale’s 2,000 strikeouts now make him the 83rd pitcher in baseball history to capture the mark and by quite a large margin.
The top six fastest pitchers to reach 2,000 strikeouts now looks like this — per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
1.) Chris Sale – 1,626 innings
2.) Pedro Martinez – 1,711.1 innings
3.) Randy Johnson – 1,733.1 innings
4.) Max Scherzer – 1,784 innings
5.) Clayton Kershaw – 1,837.2 innings
A Chance for More
Despite earning such a big accomplishment, Sale looks to be far from finished. Although he is suffering through a bit of a decline this season, Sale is well on track to crack the 3,000 strikeout mark — something only 17 pitchers have ever been able to achieve. In another bit of potential history, Sale could very well become the next pitcher to reach the 3,000 strikeout mark. The last pitcher to join the 3,000 strikeout club was New York Yankees veteran CC Sabathia.
While it hasn’t been Sale’s best year by far, he still leads Major League Baseball with 13.180 SO/9. Heading into the match-up against Cleveland, Sale was sporting a 6-11 record with a 4.41 earned run average.
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