James Shields reaches 1,500 strikeouts
During last night’s game between the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies, James Shields struck out his 1,500th batter. Shields, at age 32, is now one of only 20 current pitchers with 1,500 strikeouts or more.
C.C. Sabathia of the New York Yankees currently tops all MLB pitchers with 2,437 punch outs. “Big Game” James, as Shields is known around baseball, is currently 7th in the A.L. in strikeouts this season with 56 K’s, and first among the Royals.
Most of Shields’ strikeouts came during his time as a Tampa Bay (don’t call them “Devil”) Ray. In fact, he is still the current career leader in Tampa Bay with 1,250 strikeouts. He is quite a way from the Royals lead, but just for fun, if he had played his whole career in KC and had the same stats, he would currently be in first place overtaking Kevin Appier and his 1,458 K’s. Although if we are playing that game he would actually be in second behind Zack Greinke, who currently has 1,535.
Shields accomplished the feat in the 6th inning yesterday, after blowing away All-Star Troy Tulowitzki with a fastball on an 0-2 count. After doing so Salvador Perez called for the ball so that it could be enshrined for Shields, and in typical “Big Game” James form, he was already tuned in to the next batter, and didn’t even notice the milestone as it passed by. It was only when he turned to the scoreboard and saw the announcement that he realized his accomplishment.
The Kansas City ace now ranks 193 all-time in career strikeouts. He will be chasing Nolan Ryan and his 5,714 for a long time to come!