Misutā 3,000: Darvish reaches international K milestone

Yu Darvish has been striking out hitters professionally for a long, long time.

On Friday night at Dodger Stadium, he made it an even 3,000.

Darvish's fifth-inning strikeout of Cody Bellinger was his 1,750th across 10 seasons in the big leagues.

(Innings-wise, he's the fastest in history to reach that number.) Tack on his 1,250 strikeouts during his seven seasons pitching for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, and Darvish achieved quite a milestone on Friday night.

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It's an awfully exclusive group of pitchers to record a combined 3,000 strikeouts between MLB and NPB with at least 1,000 in each league.

And they're both presently employed by the Padres.

Darvish joins Japanese pitching icon Hideo Nomo as the only two players to achieve the milestone.

Nomo, who currently serves as a Padres special adviser in the baseball operations department, finished with 3,122 combined strikeouts.

"To be as consistent as he has for as long as he has -- I don't know that he's not pitching at as high a level as he's ever pitched in his career,"

Padres manager Bob Melvin said of Darvish. "So I don't think he's done at 3,000 -- I'll put it that way."

At 36, Darvish is in the midst of another outstanding season, having posted a 3.41 ERA in 24 starts entering Friday, with a 0.99 WHIP and 17 straight starts of at least six innings pitched.

For strikeout No. 3,000, he started Bellinger with three straight fastballs, before putting him away with a back-foot slider that was vintage Darvish.

It was his sixth strikeout of the game, and the Padres held a 4-0 lead at the time.

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