PHOENIX — It took more than 18 seasons and maybe a start more than he wanted, but it finally happened. CC Sabathia became just the 17th member of the exclusive 3000 strikeout club.
While it happened in a New York loss, 3-1 to Arizona, the storyline of this game remains: CC reached a milestone very few have reached.
Entering the night just three K’s away, the long-time Yankee struckout David Peralta and Christian Walker to open the second inning. Though Wilmer Flores followed with a home run of Sabathia, the moment came just two batters later.
Facing former Yankee John Ryan Murphy, Sabathia used four straight cutters to work the count in his favor, 1-2, before finally throwing a changeup that Murphy swung and missed on.
This then prompted a loud cheer from the Yankee fans in attendance and a celebration outside the dugout that included his teammates and his family.
And all the congratulations were well deserved. Sabathia is just the third left-hander, after Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton, to reach the milestone and he joins Ferguson Jenkins and the great Bob Gibson as the only black pitchers to reach the feat.
After the inning, Sabathia had to rush and get a helmet because he was due up to lead-off the next frame. Though he struckout against a dominant Zack Greinke, the night still belonged to him and this amazing accomplishment.
As for the offense, Gleyber Torres tied the game at one with a double in the fourth, but after the Diamondbacks scored two more runs, the Bombers were kept mostly quiet by the trio of Greinke, Andrew Chafin, and closer Greg Holland.
Because the Yankees did not get the win, Sabathia still remains three short of another milestone, 250 wins. If and when CC reaches the 250-win mark, that and his 3000 strikeouts all but guarantees his future spot in Cooperstown.