Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole became a part of MLB history the other night when he became the 18th player in the modern era (since 1900) to record at least 300 strikeouts in a since season.

Gerrit Cole Houston Astros 300 strikeouts
Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole acknowledges the crowd after recording his 300 th strikeout of the season. (Image: Michael Wyke/AP)

Out of those 18 fireball hurlers, only nine pulled off the feat more than once. Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson are tied for the most 300-plus strikeout seasons with six each.

In his short career that includes five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 28-year old Cole recorded over 1,300 strikeouts. Over his seven-year career, Cole is 92-52 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.

The Quiet K Man

Gerrit Cole is flying under the radar. When you have Justin Verlander on your team, JV gets all the love from the media, fans, and supermodels. Verlander pretty much has the Cy Young award locked up with a 19-6 record, 2.50 ERA, and 0.79 WHIP.

Once the Astros pulled the trigger on a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks to bring Zack Greinke to Houston, Greinke garnered a lot of the attention along with Verlander.

Cole has become the Jan Brady of the Astros pitching staff. With the postseason almost upon us, we’ll get to see more of Cole’s awesomeness when he takes the mound in October. So far, he’s 18-5 with a 2.61 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.

“Gerrit Cole is incredible,” said Houston manager AJ Hinch. “He’s a special player and a special person. It was a big night for him. That’s a big accomplishment. He did it in a win. He’s been a workhorse for us the entire year. These performances that he just rattles off are not easy. He makes it look a lot easier than it is.”

Gerrit Cole became the third member of the Houston Astros with at least 300 strikeouts in a single season. With 283 strikeouts this season, Verlander is 17 short of the 300 K milestone. Over his career, Verlander is just 11 whiffs short of 3,000 Ks.

The 300 K Club

Out of the 18 players in MLB history to strike out 300 batters or more in a season, nine of them achieved 300-plus Ks at least twice. The members of the Multi 300 K Club include Rube Waddell, Walter Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Sam McDowell, Nolan Ryan, JR Richard, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, and Pedro Martinez.

Since 2015, three other pitchers recorded 300 strikeouts in a season but none of them (Kershaw, Scherzer, and Sale) have yet to notch another 300-plus monster year.

Rube Waddell (1903, 1904)
Walter Johnson (1910, 1912)
Bob Feller (1946)
Sandy Koufax (1963, 1965, 1966)
Sam McDowell (1965, 1970)
Vida Blue (1971)
Mickey Lolich (1971)
Steve Carlton (1972)
Nolan Ryan (1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1989)
JR Richard (1978, 1979)
Mike Scott (1986)
Randy Johnson (1993, 1998-2002)
Pedro Martinez (1997, 1999)
Curt Schilling (1997, 1998, 2002)
Clayton Kershaw (2015)
Chris Sale (2017)
Max Scherzer (2018)
Gerrit Cole (2019)

Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan recorded at least 300 strikeouts in a season on six occasions. The Big Unit whiffed 30 for the first time in 1993 and then notched 300 or more between 1998 and 2002. Nolan Ryan struck out 300-plus five times between 1972-1977 (he whiffed on 300 whiffs in 1975) and then secured 300 one final time in 1989.

Sandy Koufax and Curt Shilling recorded 300 Ks at least thrice. Koufax dominated for the LA Dodgers in the mid-1960s, while Schilling was one of the best flamethrowers at the turn of the century.

Since 1900, five players whiffed 300-plus batters in a season at least twice. That exclusive list includes Pedro Martinez, JR Richard, Sam McDowell, Rube Waddell, and Walter Johnson.

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