Hamels becomes 10th lefty with 2,500 K's

June 19th, 2019

CHICAGO -- Cole Hamels stood at the back of the mound, pausing for a moment as the decibel level climbed inside Wrigley Field on Tuesday night. He waited as the roar grew in intensity, finally lifting his blue cap into the air to acknowledge the warm response to a career achievement.

With his strikeout of White Sox starter Ivan Nova, Hamels became the 10th left-hander in Major League history to reach at least 2,500 strikeouts in a career. As Nova trudged back to the visitors' dugout, the accomplishment was displayed on the videoboard beyond the left-field bleachers, giving the North Side crowd its chance to honor the 14-year veteran.

"It's a special moment," Hamels said after the Cubs' 3-1 loss. "To get that moment where they appreciate what I've been able to accomplish, that's ... It blows me away. I'm fortunate to be in this position. I obviously want to keep continuing and doing it as long as I possibly can."

Hamels is the 38th pitcher overall in MLB history to reach that milestone and one of six active pitchers, alongside CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke and Felix Hernandez.

Among left-handers, the 35-year-old Hamels joins Randy Johnson (4,875), Steve Carlton (4,136), Sabathia (3,036), Mickey Lolich (2,832), Frank Tanana (2,773), Chuck Finley (2,610), Tom Glavine (2,607), Warren Spahn (2,583) and Jerry Koosman (2,556).

Hamels finished with eight strikeouts over his seven innings, allowing one run on six hits with two walks. He walked away with a no-decision, but has turned in a 0.31 ERA in his last four turns. In those outings he has allowed a .173/.226/.204 opponents' slash line to go along with 31 strikeouts and six walks in 29 innings.

"It's been impressive," third baseman Kris Bryant said. "When you think of the history of this game and how many left-handed pitchers there are, to be one of 10, that's pretty impressive. He's got a lot to be proud of."

Left fielder Kyle Schwarber loved the reaction from the crowd.

"For him to reach that milestone, that's a really big deal," Schwarber said. "I'm glad he got to enjoy the moment there with the fans. I think everyone in baseball knows that's a big milestone. Both sides cheering. I'm glad that happened with us."

Manager Joe Maddon echoed those sentiments.

"I love the way the fans gave him that moment. I liked the way he responded," Maddon sad. "That's pretty significant in the game, what he's doing right now. The more you're around him, the more you realize, you can see it. We're seeing him at the latter part of his career, and I've seen him in the earlier stages. But he's still very good."