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Yankees’ Gerrit Cole becomes third fastest to 2,000 career strikeouts

May 23, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees staff ace Gerrit Cole picked up his 2,000th career strikeout on Tuesday night against the visiting Baltimore Orioles.

Cole became the third-fastest pitcher to 2,000 strikeouts in terms of both games played (278) and innings pitched (1,714 2/3). Only Randy Johnson and Clayton Kershaw got there in fewer games, while Chris Sale and Pedro Martinez achieved the milestone in fewer innings.

Cole, who entered Tuesday at 1,998 career strikeouts, had a rough start to the series opener when he allowed two runs in the first inning. But he retired the side in order in the second, closing the inning with consecutive strikeouts of Terrin Vavra and Jorge Mateo to hit 2,000.

Cole, 32, has racked up his strikeout total in 11 major league seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2013-17), Houston Astros (2018-19) and Yankees (2020-23). He has led the majors in strikeouts twice, fanning 326 in 2019 and 257 last year.

Cole was 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts before Tuesday’s game.

–Field Level Media

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