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Yu Darvish Becomes First Pitcher Since 2002 to Reach 100 K's by Memorial Day

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IMay 28, 2013

On Monday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Yu Darvish once again hit double-digit strikeouts. 

Normally, that wouldn't be news—it's the fourth time he's done it in 11 starts this season. But this time around, the Japanese international achieved a milestone not seen for over a decade. From SportsCenter's Twitter account:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Yu Darvish has 10 K, increasing his MLB-leading total to 101. He's the 1st player since '02 w/ 100 K through Memorial Day. (@EliasSports )

In case you were wondering, both Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling accomplished the feat that 2002 season. The Big Unit had exactly 100 strikeouts on Memorial Day, while Mr. Bloody Sock himself was at an astounding 114. 

Johnson finished with 334 that year, while Schilling "only" compiled 316, marking the last time anyone has hit the 300 K mark in a season.

Darvish, who finished with 14 strikeouts in 7.2 innings Monday night, is well on his way to following in the footsteps of those two studs. 

As it currently stands, the Rangers ace has 105 strikeouts in 74.0 innings, giving him a K/9 ratio of 12.77. If you extrapolate that out to the number of innings he pitched last year (191.1), he would finish with right around 271 punch-outs.

However, if you extrapolate it to the number of innings he is currently on pace for (229.2), he would end the year with an astounding 325 strikeouts. 

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Either way, it's abundantly clear that we are in the midst of one of the most impressive strikeout pitchers of this era, which isn't surprising considering the unreal diversity of his pitches:

FOX Sports' Cindy Brunson added:

Cindy Brunson @CindyBrunsonAZ

Man I just saw #Rangers Yu Darvish throw a 66 mph curve followed by a 96 mph fastball. That is just silly good.

I'd say the 26-year-old import is proving to be well worth the money.

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