Yu Darvish threw the 3,000th strikeout of his career in Japanese pro ball and MLB as he pitched the San Diego Padres to a 7-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
The 36-year-old ace is just the second player after Hideo Nomo to reach the milestone while striking out 1,000 both in Japan and the United States. Darvish spent seven years with the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League before moving to MLB in 2012.
Yu Darvish of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, on Sept. 2, 2022. (Kyodo)
“The Dodgers are the strongest team. This is an amazing confidence boost and a big win,” said Darvish, who credited his 3,000 strikeouts to his development with Nippon Ham.
“It’s thanks to the Fighters nurturing me with great love. I really appreciate it.”
Darvish (12-7) was dominant against a former club at Dodger Stadium, fanning nine and allowing just two hits over seven shutout innings. He threw 78 of his 111 pitches for strikes, with two walks and two hit batsmen.
He reached the combined landmark with his fifth-inning strikeout of Cody Bellinger, his 1,750th in an MLB career that has included stints with the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.
The veteran right-hander got plenty of offensive support, with Manny Machado and Brandon Drury hitting two-run homers in the third and Jurickson Profar clearing the fence with a three-run shot in the sixth.
Japanese Baseball Hall of Famer Nomo struck out 3,122 batters in his career with the PL’s Kintetsu Buffaloes and seven MLB clubs, including the Dodgers. The Japanese pro baseball record for career strikeouts is Masaichi Kaneda’s 4,490.
In other MLB action, Shohei Ohtani went 1-for-4 with a walk as the Los Angeles Angels lost 4-2 in their home series opener with the Houston Astros.
At Busch Stadium, Seiya Suzuki extended his hitting streak to six games in a 2-for-4 outing for the Cubs, who were blanked 8-0 by the St. Louis Cardinals.