Spencer Strider’s pursuit of the Braves’ single-season strikeout record is nearing a crescendo.
Strider stuck out 11 Phillies in Tuesday’s 9-3 win. That brings his season total to 270. He trails John Smoltz by six strikeouts for the mark of 276 set in 1996 as the Braves’ modern-day record. Strider moved past Phil Niekro into second on the list with his double-digit strikeout performance.
Here is the current modern-day list (post-1900):
1. John Smoltz (1996) – 276
2. Spencer Strider (2023) – 270
3. Phil Niekro (1977) – 262
4. Phil Niekro (1978) – 248
5. John Smoltz (1997) – 241
The all-time franchise record, for those interested, is 417 strikeouts in a season. It was set by 23-year-old Charlie Buffinton in 1884 with the Boston Beaneaters. Jim Whitney had 345 in 1883 and John Clarkson had 284 in 1889. Buffinton also had 242 in 1885. That’s your Braves franchise history lesson for the day.
The MLB modern-era single-season strikeout record is held by Nolan Ryan, who had 383 in 1973 for the Angels. That’s your baseball history lesson for the day.
Back to Strider.
He figures to have at least one more regular-season start. He now has 11 double-digit strikeout games this season (17 for his career). That puts him one behind Smoltz’s modern-era franchise record of 12, also set in 1996.
Strider has averaged 9.0 strikeouts per game over his 30 starts this season. If he has an average start in his next outing, he will own the single-season strikeout record.