Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale reached a significant single-season milestone on Wednesday, recording his 300th strikeout in a 9-0 win against the Baltimore Orioles.
In doing so, Sale notched the 35th 300 strikeout season in MLB history and became the first American League pitcher to reach that milestone since Pedro Martinez — also with the Boston Red Sox — recorded 313 in 1999. Martinez’s mark is the Red Sox single-season record.
Sale reached 300 on his 13th and final strikeout of the game. He caught Ryan Faherty looking on a curveball with two outs in the eighth inning. That would also be Sale’s final batter of the game after throwing eighth scoreless innings. Sale allowed just four hits.
Sale joined Clayton Kershaw (2015) as the only two pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson both accomplished that feat as teammates with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002. That was the third of three consecutive 300 strikeout seasons for Johnson. The left-hander had six overall during his Hall of Fame career.
Sale left the field to a standing ovation from the fans at Camden Yards in Baltimore, many of whom were dressed in Red Sox gear. His teammates joined in the applause and greeted him with hugs upon his return to the dugout. This was the first celebration of the night for the Red Sox. Later in the evening they clinched at least a wildcard berth thanks to the Angels loss.
The double-digit strikeout performance was Sale’s 18th of the season. That included a stretch of eight straight overlapping April and May. If you like fun facts and interesting stats, here are a couple more from Sale’s season to date.
Sale: 4th pitcher since 1900 with 300 K in his 1st season with a team.
Others: Randy Johnson (99), Nolan Ryan (89, 72) Steve Carlton (72).
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 21, 2017
Sale has struck out 166 different batters this year, topped by Judge and Souza at 10 each.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) September 21, 2017
Chris Sale’s first regular season in Boston has been a rousing success. But he above everyone knows there’s more work to be done.
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