Yu Darvish made his season debut Sunday after having been on the disabled list suffering from neck stiffness. Going into Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Darvish had amassed 498 stike outs in his career. He needed just two more to break former Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Kerry Wood‘s record as the fastest, meaning in innings pitched, pitcher to get 500 strikeouts.
Darvish got both of those strike outs in the first inning of the game striking out the first two batters, David DeJesus and reigning American League Rookie of the Year Wil Myers. With those strike outs Darvish surpassed Wood’s record of 404 2/3 innings managing the feat in just 401 2/3 innings. Following Darvish and Wood on the all-time list are another former Chicago Cub, Mark Prior who did it in 421 2/3 innings and current Washington Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg with 426 1/3 innings.
Kerry Wood also holds the record of being the fastest pitcher to reach 1,000 strike outs which he accomplished in 2003 in a game against the Houston Astros. It should be interesting to see if Darvish can reach that plateau as fast or faster than Wood did.