San Diego Padres: Yu Darvish reaches career milestone

San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish very quietly reached a career milestone on Friday night.

When Darvish struck out Hanser Alberto for the second out of the fifth inning, it appeared to be just another out in what was a stellar performance. Instead, that strikeout had significance as it was the 3000th of his career between Nippon Professional Baseball and the majors, joining Hideo Nomo as the only pitchers to reach that mark between the two leagues.

Yu Darvish reaches milestone in San Diego Padres victory

Darvish was a star in Japan before he came stateside. He was a five time All Star and a two time Pacific League MVP, winning the Eiji Sawamura Award in 2007. Overall, he posted a 1.99 ERA and a 0.985 WHiP in his 1268.1 innings, striking out 1250 batters with 333 walks. He led the league in ERA twice and took home three strikeout crowns before signing with the Rangers.

He has continued to be a solid pitcher stateside when healthy. Darvish has spent a decade in the majors now, posting a 3.53 ERA and a 1.131 WHiP over his 1456 major league innings, striking out 1753 batters with just 473 walks. A five time All Star, Darvish has twice finished second in the Cy Young vote as well.

However, as impressive as Darvish has been in the majors, the story of his professional career cannot be told without his NPB performance. His combined numbers show that he has been one of the best pitchers of his generation despite Tommy John surgery and the pandemic shortened 2020 campaign making an impact on those statistics.

His place in the 3000 strikeout club is certainly impressive. Only 19 major league pitchers have joined those ranks, with four NPB pitchers also reaching that plateau. George Brunet also reached that mark with his 3175 minor league strikeouts. Nomo and Darvish have joined that group as well with their combined careers. It is an impressive milestone in what has been a great career.

Yu Darvish made history on Friday night. The San Diego Padres pitcher became the 26th pitcher to record 3000 career strikeouts in professional baseball history.