1. Strider stepped on the mound for the sixth inning, but he never threw a pitch. Before he could, manager Brian Snitker went out to the mound to remove him.
Strider said he was dealing with stomach issues, and the coaches didn’t want to be aggressive.
But his removal effectively allowed him to receive an ovation from the Truist Park crowd.
This was quite the night for Strider. In the first inning, he struck out three batters to set the Braves’ franchise record for strikeouts in a season, with 277. Strider passed Hall of Famer John Smoltz, who struck out 276 batters in 1996.
“It’s special, I’m grateful,” he said. “I don’t play, necessarily, to achieve records or break records. I think my satisfaction comes from us winning and giving my team a chance to win. I haven’t had to be that spectacular this year because we have such an incredible team. There’s a lot of things that I feel like I can improve on that will hopefully make it easier for those guys (so) they don’t have to pick me up as much next year. It’s special. It’s an understatement to say this is a special organization with a lot of history, so I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
And then he notched his 20th victory. No one else has more than 17.
Strider allowed three runs over five innings as he recovered nicely. He struck out seven batters and leads the majors with 281 strikeouts.
2. In the third inning, Ronald Acuña Jr. stole his 73rd base. With it, he passed Otis Nixon for the Braves’ record for stolen bases in a season in the modern era (since 1900).
The Braves have set tons of records this season.
Acuña is the first member of the 40-70 club in MLB history. Matt Olson has hit the most homers and driven in the most runs in franchise history. These Braves have blasted the most homers in a single season in team history. Strider set the strikeout record.
And on and on.
“It’s been really special to see that,” Snitker said. “I get a really good seat to watch it, too, so it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Added Strider: “I was thinking about it all weekend, the amount of records, personal and team, that we’ve achieved this year. It’s great to do that at home. It would’ve been cool to do it anywhere, but to do it here and to have the fans, to experience it with them, is pretty special. So yeah, I was really grateful that we got to do that here.”
3. Last season, Kyle Wright led MLB with 21 wins. This season, Strider leads the sport with 20.
This marks the first time the Braves have had 20-game winners in back-to-back seasons since 1996-98, when John Smoltz, Denny Neagle and Tom Glavine did it in three consecutive years, in that order.
Since the start of the 2015 season, 12 pitchers have won at least 20 games in a season.
Strider is one of them.
“For a pitcher, that’s the ultimate, man – winning 20 games,” Snitker said. “If you can persevere and make the starts and all to win 20 games – I guarantee he gave a lot of credit to his teammates. You gotta have a lot of help doing that.”
4. In a four-run fifth inning, Marcell Ozuna crushed a three-run bomb that put Strider in line for the win.
Ozuna, who notched his 38th homer, gave the Braves their 305th home run as a team – two shy of tying the 2019 Twins for the MLB record for homers in a season.
That’s one record to watch Sunday. The other: No major-league team has ever slugged .500 over a season.
The 2019 Astros finished with a .495 slugging percentage. The Braves entered Saturday with a .500 slugging percentage, so they could still end with the MLB record, even if they fall below .500.
5. The Braves on Saturday won their 104th game – the most since the team won a franchise-record 106 games in 1998.
The Braves’ 104 wins are tied for second in franchise history, as the 1993 team also notched 104 victories.
With a win Sunday, the 2023 Braves can take sole possession of second place in this category.
Stat to know
3,150,808 – The Braves on Saturday tallied their 53rd sellout at Truist Park this season. This brought their attendance total for 2023 to 3,150,808, which is a new Truist Park record. (The ballpark opened in 2017.)
“It’s incredible to be a part of this team. Just a great group of veterans and young players. We just have this energy that begins in the clubhouse, and we take it onto the field and into workouts and into everything. I think that’s sort of been key to our success, and that’s what we have to continue to take advantage of.” – Acuña
The Braves will recall Dylan Dodd to start Sunday’s regular-season finale. First pitch is at 3:10 p.m.