BRONX — Gerrit Cole became the 87th pitcher in major league history on Tuesday when he recorded his 2,000th career strikeout during the Yankees meeting with the Baltimore Orioles. The milestone was the latest accomplishment for Cole, who has been having a strong season on the mound for the Yanks.
Cole’s 2,000th strikeout came in the second inning when he sat Jorge Mateo down on five pitches. On the final pitch of the at-bat, Cole caught Mateo swinging at a 97 mph fastball that ended the inning. New York trailed 2-0 at the time of the milestone, but came back to win in extra innings.
“It’s a pretty special accomplishment,” Cole said. “I was pretty depressed about the whole thing for the most part until (Aaron Judge) came through and picked us up. Probably leaving the game tonight more thrilled about how we played as a team as opposed to accomplishing that.”
The righty became the eighth pitcher to reach the mark in a Yankee uniform, joining CC Sabathia (9/10/11 at LAA), Andy Pettitte (9/21/08 vs BAL), Mike Mussina (5/18/03 vs TEX), David Cone (7/28/97 vs OAK), Dwight Gooden (9/27/96 at BOS), Catfish Hunter (7/6/79 at OAK) and Bobo Newsom (7/17/47 at CLE).
Cole became the third fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 2,000 Ks doing so in 278 games, with only Randy Johnson doing it in 262 games and Clayton Kershaw accomplishing it in 277 games. He’s also reached the milestone in the thrid fewest innings pitched behind Chris Sales and Pedro Martinez.
The Yankees ace has been New York’s best weapon on the mound this season. He entered Tuesday’s start with 5-0 record, 2.01 ERA and 68 strikeouts through his first 10 starts.