Astros starter Gerrit Cole recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2019 season on Wednesday night against the Rangers, fanning Shin-Soo Choo to end the sixth inning. He has thus far held the Rangers scoreless on two hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Cole is the first pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts this year, but he may soon be joined by teammate Justin Verlander who is at 283 and has two starts remaining. He is the fourth pitcher to reach the 300-strikeout club since 2003, joining Max Scherzer (2018), Chris Sale (2017), and Clayton Kershaw (2015). Cole is the first Astro with 300+ strikeouts since Mike Scott (306) in a Cy Young Award-winning 1986 season. J.R. Richard also did it twice as an Astro in 1978 (303) and ’79 (313).
Cole entered Wednesday’s start battling Verlander for the AL Cy Young Award. He carried a 17-5 record with a 2.62 ERA and a 292/45 K/BB ratio in 192 1/3 innings.