Chris Sale is the fastest pitcher ever to 2,000 strikeoutsSporting News — (Thomas Lott)
Chris Sale threw a very special pitch Tuesday.
On a 1-2 count to Oscar Mercado in Boston's matchup with the Indians, Sale was able to get a swinging strike on an 81-mph slider to the rookie center fielder.
That pitch marked the 2,000th strikeout of Sale's career.
That in and of itself isn't all that special. Eighty-three pitchers have now eclipsed the number, but it was the speed in which Sale did it that was remarkable.
Sale's 2,000th strikeout came on his 6,527th batter faced. That is the fastest to reach the number breaking Pedro Martinez's record of 6,834, according to Ryan M. Spaeder.
Almost more impressively, he accomplished the feat in nearly 150 innings less than Martinez (1,626 to 1,771 1/3) which was also an MLB record.
The strikeout was Sale's 211th of the season.
This is the seventh straight season in which he has struck out at least 200 batters. And at his current K rate this season, he has a chance to once again break 300 strikeouts which would be his second time to accomplish that feat in the last three years.