CC Sabathia set to join 3,000 strikeout club

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Yankees lefty CC Sabathia will start against the Angels tonight in Anaheim. He is sitting on 2,994 strikeouts for his career, six shy of joining the exclusive 3,000 strikeout club. He would be its 17th member. The other members are Nolan Ryan (5,714), Randy Johnson (4,875), Roger Clemens (4,672), Steve Carlton (4,136), Bert Blyleven (3,701), Tom Seaver (3,640), Don Sutton (3,574), Gaylord Perry (3,534), Walter Johnson (3,509), Greg Maddux (3,371), Phil Niekro (3,342), Fergie Jenkins (3,192), Pedro Martínez (3,154), Bob Gibson (3,117), Curt Schilling (3,116), and John Smoltz (3,084).

Six strikeouts is not guaranteed, as Sabathia fanned three in his first start of the season on April 13 against the White Sox and five in five innings last Friday against the Royals. Sabathia, in fact, last struck out six-plus in a game on August 29 last season against the White Sox — seven starts ago.

Despite the lack of strikeouts, Sabathia has yet to allow an earned run on the season. He’s allowed one unearned run on four hits and four walks over 10 innings of work. He had a late start to the season recovering from offseason knee and heart procedures.

Once Sabathia is in the 3,000 strikeout club, Justin Verlander appears to be next. Verlander has struck out 2,744 batters in his career, so he would likely get there next season.