Yu Darvish said he never envisioned himself as an ace until recently.
Well, nothing says it more than 1,500 strikeouts in 197 career starts.
Darvish struck out 11 in six brilliant innings to become the fastest big leaguer to reach 1,500 for his career, Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth homered and the San Diego Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series between the NL West rivals.
“Since I’ve come here I’ve had my ups and downs, but the reason why I’m sitting here being able to talk about reaching 1,500 strikeouts is definitely because of all the support I have been given since I started my career here,” said Darvish, who came to the majors in 2012 after spending seven seasons in his native Japan.
“Just from the bottom of my heart I’m really thankful and grateful for all the support I’ve been given through the years,” said Darvish, who turns 35 on Aug. 16.
Darvish (7-2) reached 1,500 strikeouts on the nose in 197 starts. He held the Dodgers to two hits, including Mookie Betts’ solo homer, and walked just one.