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According to the Dodgers’ official Twitter account, he’s the fastest pitcher in MLB history (128 starts) to hit the milestone:
Los Angeles Dodgers @Dodgers
Congratulations, @faridyu! Yu Darvish becomes the fastest pitcher to reach 1,000 strikeouts in @MLB history (128 games). https://t.co/FNPzZhxwc5
According to Sporting News’ Ryan M. Spaeder, Darvish also eclipsed teammate Clayton Kershaw for fewest batters needed to reach 1,000 strikeouts:
Ryan M. Spaeder @theaceofspaeder
Batters faced to 1,000 career strikeouts: Yu Darvish 3,368 Clayton Kershaw 3,919 Max Scherzer 3,980 Nolan Ryan 4,036 Randy Johnson 4,206
Darvish hasn’t exactly met expectations since arriving from the Texas Rangers in July.
After he had a 4.01 ERA in 22 starts for the Rangers, most predicted his numbers would improve since he went from Globe Life Park, which is third in ESPN.com’s park factor, to Dodger Stadium, which is 18th on the list. Instead, the veteran right-hander allowed 13 earned runs in 26 innings over his first five starts for Los Angeles and posted a 4.67 FIP, according to Baseball Reference.
The Dodgers’ starting pitchers still rank third in collective FIP (3.71) and second in xFIP (3.72), per FanGraphs, and the rotation goes six-deep. The fact Darvish is still adjusting to the National League hasn’t presented a big problem for the team.
Ultimately, the Dodgers may not need Darvish to pitch like an ace of the staff when the postseason begins in October, but the front office sent a clear message when it acquired the four-time All-Star. Considering even Kershaw hasn’t been immune to criticism about his playoff performances, Darvish may receive the same treatment in the event the team once again fails to reach the World Series.