Red Sox ace Sale becomes fastest in MLB history to 2,000 Ks
Martinez - a Red Sox legend himself - required 1,771 1/3 innings to reach the milestone, while Sale bested the mark handily at 1,626 innings, according to MLB Stats.
The lefty also became the 83rd pitcher in Major League Baseball history to join the club and just the 15th to do so before reaching his 31st birthday.
Sale - who doesn't turn 31 until March 30, 2020 - notched his 2,000th punchout against Cleveland Indians outfielder Oscar Mercado.
Pitcher Ks before turning 31 Walter Johnson* 2467 Nolan Ryan* 2426 Sandy Koufax* 2396 Sam McDowell 2391 Bert Blyleven* 2357 Don Drysdale* 2307 Clayton Kershaw 2275 Felix Hernandez 2264 Pedro Martinez* 2220 Christy Mathewson* 2124 Bob Feller* 2108 Tom Seaver* 2099 Roger Clemens 2033 CC Sabathia 2017 Chris Sale 2000
* - denotes Hall of Famer
Sale has already cemented himself as one of the best strikeout pitchers of all time, posting the best K/9 in MLB history among starters with at least 1,500 innings. Entering Tuesday's contest, the southpaw had authored an 11.09 K/9 through 1,527 2/3 innings as a starter, with an 11.06 K/9 including his time as a reliever.
Among pitchers with at least 1,500 innings, Sale entered Tuesday leading an incredibly elite group:
Pitcher IP K/9 Chris Sale 1623 11.06 Randy Johnson 4135 1/3 10.61 Max Scherzer 2252 10.54 Pedro Martinez 2827 1/3 10.04 Clayton Kershaw 2226 1/3 9.73 Nolan Ryan 5386 9.55 Tim Lincecum 1682 9.29 Sandy Koufax 2324 1/3 9.28 Francisco Liriano 1798 9.02 Justin Verlander 2921 2/3 9.00
''It's cool. It's special,'' Sale said postgame, according to The Associated Press. ''I'm not a guy who is really into his stats, but I respect it. I appreciate what it means. A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to help me get there.''
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