Smoltz gets 3,00th strikeout of career against Nats
Starter, reliever, All-Star, likely Hall of Famer. John Smoltz can likely add that last description to his resume after the Atlanta Braves pitcher picked up his 3,000th career strikeout on Tuesday night.
Hall of an Indicator
Of the 16 pitchers in MLB history with 3,000 career strikeouts, Bert Blyleven is the only eligible hurler not in the Hall of Fame.
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Smoltz, 40, received a standing ovation after Lopez swung and missed on a 2-2 pitch.
Smoltz ended the night with 10 strike outs, exiting after seven innings with the Braves down 1-0. A five-run ninth inning, however, sent the Nationals to a 6-0 win and Smoltz to his first loss of the season.
Smoltz's former teammate, San Diego pitcher Greg Maddux, is the only other active pitcher with more strikeouts (3,287).
Martinez, currently on the disabled list for the New York Mets, is in 15th place with 3,031.
The only pitcher in history with 200 victories and 150 saves in his career, Smoltz was attempting to improve to 4-0. The Elias Sports Bureau reported that his 3-0 mark made Smoltz just the fifth 40-year-old over the last 50 years to win his first three appearances.
The others were Kenny Rogers last year, Clemens in 2004, Ryan in 1990 and Phil Niekro in 1984.
Ryan is baseball's career strikeouts leader with 5,714.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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