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Friday, May 14, 2021

Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes sets record for strikeouts without a walk to start season

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes set the record for strikeouts without a walk to start the season Thursday, extending the mark to 58 before issuing his first pass of the season in the fifth inning of a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Burnes, 26, needed three strikeouts to pass the previous record of 51 strikeouts without a walk held by Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen, set in 2017. Burnes struck out Dylan Carlson in the first inning and then Tyler O’Neill and Harrison Bader in the second inning to set the record.

“It was pretty cool,” Burnes said of the ovation from the crowd after breaking Jansen’s record. “Whenever you get them standing behind you like that, cheering you on, it definitely gives you some chills. Was a cool moment to do it at home.”

His strikeout total reached nine for the game through the fourth inning to set another major league record—strikeouts without a walk at any point in a season. He passed Greg Maddux (53) and Gerrit Cole and Curt Schilling (56 each) on that list. Maddux achieved the feat in 2001, and Schilling did it in 2002. Cole’s streak remains active.

Burnes’ streaks ended, however, in the fifth inning when he walked the Cardinals’ Tommy Edman.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2021 at 10:35 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: corbin burnes

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   1. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 14, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6018834)
Maddux in 2001 went nine straight starts, totaling 65 1/3 innings, without walking anyone. Burnes' streak was five straight starts and 29 1/3 innings.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 14, 2021 at 12:27 PM (#6018836)
These are literally the kind of numbers you'd see in a video game, where you figured out the one pitch that nobody can hit, even if they know it is coming, as long as you hit the buttons the right way.

This is a guy who had an 8.46 ERA in AAA in 2019, and an 8.82 ERA in Milwaukee that same year.

I have not seen him pitch - did he develop a Mariano-cut fastball-quality out pitch before the 2020 season or something? WTF is going on?

Nolan Ryan is obviously the all-time strikeout guy - both literally and figuratively. When you think of a pitcher who just rears back and overpowers batters, it is Nolan Ryan.

Ryan's best Ks/9 was 1987, when he struck out 11.5 per 9 innings. His career average is 9.5/9.

Corbin Burnes is averaging 15.2 per 9 right now. In the season where he went 1-5 with an ERA of 8.82, he struck out 12.5 per 9 - that's a K per 9 innings better than Nolan Ryan's best average for a season!

I don't mean to sound like Joe Sheehan or Bill James on Twitter about this stuff, but I guess I agree with them - we have seen this moment coming for a number of years, and the sport has done very little about it. This is not entertaining baseball, and is sort of the pitching equivalent of the sillyball home run year a generation ago.
   3. Jesus Luzardo Maraschino Posted: May 14, 2021 at 12:41 PM (#6018837)
Cole’s streak remains active


So he's about to get passed.
   4. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 14, 2021 at 02:02 PM (#6018841)
Ah yes, the old "strikeouts without a walk to start a season" record. I have fond memories of my grandpa telling me about when Dazzy Vance set a "strikeouts without a walk to start a season" record that seemed unbreakable.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 14, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#6018845)
I don’t know, it’s pretty impressive whether it’s a record or not. The Ks don’t impress me as much as the lack of BBs. Reminds me of Cliff Lee in 2010 or Brett Saberhagen in 1994.
   6. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 14, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#6018849)
Carlos Silva's 0.4 BB/9 in 2005. 9 walks in 188.1 IP.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: May 14, 2021 at 06:21 PM (#6018887)
The Ks don’t impress me as much as the lack of BBs

But as #1 and #6 note, that's not that impressive here. 0 BB in 29 innings is outstanding of course but we've seen much more impressive streaks before. What makes the factoid interesting is the combination of striking out the world while walking nobody. So it is the Ks that make this one fascinating -- 53 in 88 outs.

His last 94 innings have just been nuts. Even when batters make contact, they aren't doing anything. His HR/FB% the last couple of years is only about 3.7% (lg avg 10%). And yet, even this guy, a standard 293 BABIP in that time.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2021 at 07:07 PM (#6018892)
I don’t know, it’s pretty impressive whether it’s a record or not. The Ks don’t impress me as much as the lack of BBs. Reminds me of Cliff Lee in 2010 or Brett Saberhagen in 1994.


As post one pointed out though, it's not really that many innings. K/bb is great and all, but when talking about not doing a particular feat, such as not walking someone, the real barometer is the number of batters faced, not the number of batters you have struck out.

k/bb is a nice stat, it tells you some level of dominance etc... but as far as record goes... going 65 innings without a walk, is much more impressive than going almost 30 innings without a walk. The nature of the outs(strikeouts dominance vs normal pitching) isn't really an issue here. (and heck Maddux struck out 45 in that time frame.)

Note: It's still an impressive feat, but perspective is also important (as mentioned in the Yadier Molina 2000 games caught with one franchise, the impressive part isn't the one franchise, it's the 2000 games, unnecessarily creating selected limits to make someone look more elite than their impressive accomplishment is not being fair to the person you are trying to lionize)


Edit: I'm never a fan of rate stats that is based upon "start of the season"... is it possible someone had done it as equally or more impressively in the middle of the season? Did Pedro ever go that long without a walk? (sadly no from a quick look at his stat, he seemed to walk one person per game every game, even during his peak...sure generating 12 strikeouts per start--best stretch in 2001 was 65 k/7bb... or 67 with 7 in 2000...although I like his 84 with 10 more)

   9. bfan Posted: May 15, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6018963)
#2 is spot on. All we did this off season is deaden the ball to further suck the life out of offense while not solving one thing. Just get rid of the tool Manfred and be done with that weather vane of an empty suit.
   10. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 15, 2021 at 10:01 PM (#6018992)
MLB 2020: 245/322/418
MLB 2021: 235/311/391

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