Upon passing the 2,500-inning mark in Monday's game against the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett became just the eighth pitcher in major league history to log 2,500 career innings with more strikeouts than hits allowed, per Lee Sinins of Complete Baseball Encyclopedia.
The milestone was the lone highlight of Burnett's night, as he allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings in a 7-1 loss. The defeat dropped his record to 6-10 for the season, while his ERA rose to 4.15, its highest mark since June 15.
The rough night aside, Burnett's 2,503.1 career innings are good for fifth best among active pitchers, with only Mark Buehrle (3,018), Tim Hudson (2,953), CC Sabathia (2,725.1) and Bartolo Colon (2725.1) ahead of the 37-year-old. Coincidentally, Colon earned the win in Monday's game, allowing just one run over 7.2 innings for the Mets.
While Buehrle is the only active pitcher with 3,000 innings to his name, the feat has been achieved by 133 players, though Hudson is likely to make it 134 by the end of this season. Burnett weighed retirement after 2013 and isn't expected back for another year, but both Sabathia and Colon could conceivably reach the mark.
As for the other pitchers with 2,500-plus innings and more strikeouts than hits allowed, Burnett's name is arguably the least notable on a rather impressive list. Per GammonsDaily.com (via Complete Baseball Encyclopedia), Burnett is joined by Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez and David Cone.