CC Sabathia Becomes 4th Left-Handed Pitcher to Top 2,800 Strikeouts

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJuly 28, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27:  CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 27, 2017 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

CC Sabathia recorded just three strikeouts during his outing Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays, but it was enough for him to reach 2,800 punchouts for his career, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Sabathia joined the ranks of Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton and Mickey Lolich as the four lefties to have accomplished the feat. Sabathia only needs 32 more strikeouts to catch Lolich (2,032), but Randy Johnson (4,875) and Steve Carlton (4,136) hold a sizeable advantage.

Unfortunately, the start wasn't ideal for Sabathia. The 37-year-old southpaw lasted just 4.1 innings in the contest, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk during the span. Despite the struggle Thursday, he still owns a 3.66 ERA on the campaign with a 9-3 record over 17 outings.

After a couple of down seasons in 2014 and 2015, Sabathia has returned to form in 2016 and 2017. Sabathia's 3.66 ERA is his lowest in the category since 2012, the third of three straight All-Star seasons for him.

While Sabathia didn't last as long Thursday as the Yankees would have hoped, they scored a run in both the eighth and ninth innings to erase a two-run deficit. The team went on to win on a Brett Gardner walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Thanks to some surprises like Sabathia, the Yankees remain a bit of a surprise contender in the AL East. Sporting a 54-46 record, the Bronx Bombers sits just a half-game back of the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees return to the diamond for the second of a four-game series against the Rays on Friday evening, while Sabathia's next scheduled start is Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers.