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CC Sabathia joins 3,000 strikeout club

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After much anticipation, Yankees starter CC Sabathia has joined the exclusive 3,000 strikeout club during Tuesday night’s start in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. John Ryan Murphy was the lucky winner, fanning on a change-up to end the second inning. Sabathia had struck out David Peralta and Christian Walker earlier in the inning as well.

Sabathia, 38, is in 17th place on the all-time strikeouts leaderboard behind John Smoltz at 3,084. He’s one of only three lefties in the 3,000 strikeout club. Sabathia could also conceivably pass Curt Schilling (3,116) and Bob Gibson (3,117) and move into 14th place by the end of the season.

Sabathia entered Tuesday’s start having allowed just four earned runs on 10 hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts over 15 innings on the season. The potential Hall of Famer plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

Skaggs Case: Federal Agents have interviewed at least six current or former Angels players

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The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.

There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.

Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.

In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.