Yankees ace Gerrit Cole notched a significant career milestone during his start on Tuesday. The righthander registered his 2,000th strikeout in the second inning against the Orioles, making him the third-fastest player in MLB history to achieve the feat.
In terms of games pitched, only Clayton Kershaw and Randy Johnson needed fewer to rack up their 2,000th career strikeout. Cole achieved the feat in the 278th start of his MLB career, while Johnson did it in 262 and Kershaw in 277.
Additionally, Cole also required the third-fewest innings in MLB history to record 2,000 strikeouts. Only Chris Sale (1,626) and Pedro Martinez (1711.1) took fewer innings to achieve the milestone than Cole (1,714.2).
Cole struck out Baltimore shortstop Jorge Mateo to pick up No. 2,000 for his career.
Gerrit Cole has reached 2000 career strikeouts! pic.twitter.com/FyoaE9J2Zv
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 23, 2023
Cole is now the 87th pitcher to record 2,000 strikeouts in their career. He’s one of eight pitchers to achieve the milestone while wearing a Yankees uniform, joining the likes of Andy Pettitte, C.C. Sabathia, Catfish Hunter, David Cone, Mike Mussina, Bobo Newman, and Dwight Gooden.
Congratulations @GerritCole45 👏 pic.twitter.com/8AaUXORCkT
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 23, 2023
After punching out Mateo to end the second inning, Cole could be seen pumping his fist and pointing at catcher Kyle Higashioka while walking to the dugout.
Owner of a 10.5 K/9 rate for his career entering Tuesday’s start, Cole earned recognition among some of baseball’s best strikeout pitchers as a result of his latest achievement.