Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw passed significant career strikeout milestones Sunday. Hernandez recorded his 2,000th career strikeout and Kershaw earned the 1,500th of his career.
At just over 29 years old, Hernandez is the fourth-youngest pitcher to strike out 2,000 batters. Only Bert Blyleven, Sam McDowell and Randy Johnson were younger.
Hernandez and Kershaw, 27, are the only active players under the age of 30 with at least 1,500 strikeouts. CC Sabathia leads all active pitchers with 2,466 strikeouts.
Hernandez's 2,000th punch out came when he caught Oakland Athletics outfielder Sam Fuld looking at a fastball on the outside corner in the fifth inning.
Kershaw froze Colorado Rockies oufielder Drew Stubbs with his signature curveball for the milestone strikeout.
Kershaw was also seeking his 100th career win but earned a no-decision, though the Dodgers won 9–5. He allowed 5 runs over 5 2/3 innings, with five strikeouts and four walks.
Hernandez allowed two runs in seven innings and earned his sixth win of the season in a 4–3 Seattle victory.
- Dan Gartland