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One wild record you probably didn't know for all 30 MLB teams


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laa.png?w=110&h=110&transparent=trueLos Angeles Angels: Nolan Ryan, 383 strikeouts (1973)

This qualifies as a significant record, of course -- well, technically it's the modern record, as Old Hoss Radbourn struck out 441 batters for Providence of the National League in 1884 and, depending on how you feel about the American Association of the 19th century, Matt Kilroy fanned 513 for Baltimore in 1886. Ryan's record is the one that matters, however, and it has stood the test of time for a remarkable 46 seasons.

Ryan broke Sandy Koufax's mark of 382, striking out 10 or more batters in 23 of his 39 starts. Randy Johnson has come closest since, finishing with 372 strikeouts in 2001. In fact, since Ryan established his record in 1973, the eight highest strikeout totals belong to either Johnson or Ryan. Ninth on the list is the guy above, Gerrit Cole, who struck out 326 last season.

That points to the difficulty in breaking Ryan's record. Cole averaged 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings and struck out 39.9% of the batters he faced, both records for a starting pitcher, compared to 10.6 and 28.2% for Ryan. The difference: Ryan pitched 326 innings while Cole threw just 212⅓. Based on that innings total, in order to break Ryan's record, Cole would have had to average 16.3 strikeouts per nine! To catch Ryan, a starter will have to throw more innings than Cole did -- at a time when starter innings are declining. If Cole averaged 13.8 K's per nine over 251 innings, he'd get to 384 strikeouts. The last time a pitcher threw 250 innings was 2011, when it was done by Justin Verlander, who led the majors with 223 innings in 2019. So Ryan's record is not unbreakable, but it does appear pretty safe.

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