Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard and Nationals hurler Max Scherzer had maybe the the two most impressive performances from a pitcher so far this season — even counting Jake Arrieta's no-hitter in April. Syndergaard struck out six over eight innings, allowing two solo homers and earning the win. But most impressively, he matched the Dodgers homer-for-homer, hitting a solo dinger in the third inning and then a three-run shot in the fifth. He is the third pitcher in the modern era to go eight innings on the mound and swat two homers at the dish.
Scherzer, on the other hand, didn't need to do anything at the plate, because the Tigers certainly weren't. He tied the major league record with 20 strikeouts in a single game, making him just the fifth pitcher to ever have that many.
Ryan was only 31 when he notched his 3,000th strikeout while pitching for the Houston Astros in 1979. The Ryan Express continued dominating batters for another 14 years to finish his 27-year-career as the all-time leader in strikeouts with 5,714, more than 1,000 ahead of second-place Roger Clemens.
Jonhson's near 100-mph heater and nasty slider, along with his intimidating figure at 6'10", helped catapult him into the club in 2000. At 44, the five-time Cy Young Award winner was just 43 strikeouts shy of passing Clemens for second all-time as of April 23.
Lefty battled his contemporary Nolan Ryan for both the all-time strikeouts record and longevity in the league. Carlton reached his 3,000th strikeout in 1981 and fanned 4,136 over his illustrious 24-year-career.
Armed with one of the best curveballs ever, Blyleven joined the club in 1986 while with the Minnesota Twins. A true workhorse, Blyleven topped the 200 innings mark 17 times en route to finishing fifth all-time with 3,701 strikeouts. He he is the only member of the 3,000 club eligible for, but not in the Hall of Fame.
A model of consistency and longevity, Sutton reached the 3,000 plateau in 1983. During his 23 seasons, the tall righthander never made a trip to the disabled list. He pitched at least 33 games every season en route to 3,574 career strikeouts.
Big Train was clearly ahead of his time in the way he dominated opposing batters during 21 seasons with the Washington Senators, beginning in 1907. Along with his 410 wins (second all-time) and his MLB record 110 shutouts, Johnson also claimed 3,508 strikeout victims, which stood as the major league record until it was surpassed by Nolan Ryan in 1983.
Equipped with a knuckleball that flabbergasted opponents for 24 seasons, Knucksie entered the elite club in1984. Throwing his last pitch at the tender age of 48, Niekro, who logged at least 200 innings in 20 seasons, ended his career with 3,342 strikeouts.
In 1974, the sturdy St. Louis righthander joined Walter Johnson as only the second pitcher in major league history to reach the 3,000-strikeout plateau. In his first eight seasons, he posted a .658 winning percentage, and in 1968 he set the live-ball record with a paltry 1.12 ERA.
Martinez, all 5'10" of him, has overpowered his opponents throughout his career, resulting in 3,031 strikeouts. Martinez, who won a Cy Young with the Montreal Expos in 1997 and two more with the Boston Red Sox, reached the 3,000 plateau in 2007. He's sure to add to his total of 3,031 when he returns from the disabled list.
Smoltz got his 3,000th strikeout on Aprill 22, 2008, against the Nationals. Smoltz, who trails just Greg Maddux in active strikeouts, is the sixth fastest to reach the mark.
3,000 Strikeout Club
The Mets' pitcher earned his Marvel-comics-inspired nickname thanks to his muscular build, Scandinavian name, and long blonde hair. So what happens when Thor dresses as Thor and walks around New York City?
In case you've never seen this footage of one of Scherzer's predecessors...