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Will we ever see a 300 strikeout season again?


Moose Milligan

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No, I'm not talking about Mark Reynolds :D

I was listening to the Nats game on the radio on the way home, the announcers were talking about how RA Dickey and Strasburg are tied for the league lead in strikeouts with 170 something.

I figured the last 300 strikeout pitcher was Randy Johnson, and I was right...10 years ago Randy Johnson struck out 334 batters and Curt Schilling struck out 319 (technically I guess that makes Schilling the last pitcher to do it as Johnson did it first, THEN Schilling). No one other than Johnson (he struck out 290 one year) has come really close. Verlander struck out 269 a few years ago.

With pitch counts and innings limits, will we ever see a pitcher strike out 300 batters in a season?

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Rumor has it one day a pitcher by the name of Matusz will salvage his career as he will trade off-seasons of surfing in for workouts at the field everyday at 6am. He will be coach-able and respect pitching Legends such as Jim Palmer and his career will take off. All of a sudden that 91mph heater will look like Verlander and 300k's in a season will be easily attainable by the all star break.

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I remember when Erik Bedard had 221 strikeouts for us in 2007, and then he had to shut it down in late August because of a strained oblique. If he had made the 7 more starts that he missed, I think that he probably would have wound up with between 260 and 290 for the season. He definitely would have led the league (Scott Kazmir had 239 strikeouts for the Devil Rays that year.)

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I remember when Erik Bedard had 221 strikeouts for us in 2007, and then he had to shut it down in late August because of a strained oblique. If he had made the 7 more starts that he missed, I think that he probably would have wound up with between 260 and 290 for the season. He definitely would have led the league (Scott Kazmir had 239 strikeouts for the Devil Rays that year.)

I remember that, too. He would have lead the league easily. IIRC he had to miss like 4 starts before Kazmir could catch him.

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Considering that K rate keeps increasing as walk rate decreases I think it can happen. Would take someone like Verlander to do it tho.

Yes. I'm almost 100% certain that we'll see a 300k season in my lifetime (meaning ~50 years). In the past 50 years we've oscillated from an era where nobody struck out that many, to one where it was fairly common, back to one where nobody did it, to one where it was fairly common, to one where it hasn't happened in 10 years. No reason to think we've reached equilibrium. So far MLB has been unwilling or unable to do anything about exploding strikeout rates, and if that continues it's almost certain it'll happen. Somebody will come along who strikes out 13 or 14 per nine in 220 innings. In 1981 teams averaged 4.7 K/9, now that's 7.5. Would anyone be bowled over if, in 2025, the average was over 9?

Heck, we might see a reliever do it. No, I'm not crazy. Let's say we get to a point where a relief role develops where a guy pitches 2-3 innings per outing, and pitches 2-3 times a week. That's 160 innings a year. Ardolis Chapman is averaging 16.7 K/9. Unlikely, but it's not impossible.

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