Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer could become the best single-season strikeout duo in Tigers history.
Verlander and Scherzer rank first and second in the American League in strikeouts. If each maintains his current pace, they could strike out at least 240 apiece. According to research done through Baseball-Reference.com, the Tigers have never had two pitchers fan at least 240 hitters in the same season.
The closest they came was in 1971, when Mickey Lolich struck out 308 and Joe Coleman 236. But that was before the DH. Lolich struck out pitchers 37 times in ‘71, and Coleman did so 33 times. (What’s astounding about Lolich’s 1971 season is his innings total: 376. That’s the most for a nonknuckleball pitcher since the pre-1920 Dead Ball Era.)
Verlander leads the AL with 174 strikeouts. Scherzer has 168. Scherzer might pass Verlander when he starts this afternoon against the Twins; if so, Verlander might go back past Scherzer when he pitches against Baltimore on Friday night. This back-and-forth exchange of the league’s strikeout lead could continue to season’s end.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, the last pair of teammates to have 240 strikeouts in the same season were right-handers Kerry Wood and Mark Prior of the 2003 Cubs. Wood led the NL with 266 strikeouts, and Prior had 245.
Posted: August 15, 2012 at 08:57 AM | 23 comment(s)
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