Atlanta Braves rookie Spencer Strider sets record
Sneaking into the playoffs quietly is not an option for the Braves this year, and rookie pitcher Spencer Strider states his intentions with an emphatic performance
Sitting only three games adrift of the Mets in the NL East, Atlanta are not a team that can be dismissed as pedestrian. With one of the widest arrays of bullpen talent in the major leagues, they have ridden those arms for the back end of the season with Max Fried seemingly unable to miss the strike zone and Charlie Morton throwing Ks at will.
Now they have added another name to that impressive list: Spencer Strider. In only his 17th MLB start, he threw eight shutout innings against the Rockies, notching up 16 punchouts while giving up just two hits and no walks.
That performance sees him set a new Braves record for the most strikeouts in a single game. Previously set by Hall of Famer Johns Smoltz back in 2005, Strider didn’t have any inkling what was going on until the game was over.
“I lost track after five,’’ said Strider. “I came out of the game and Kyle [Wright] was telling me something about John Smoltz or whatever. It didn’t make any sense.’’
Throwing in the 98 mph range, Strider went 106 pitches and showed total control all night. What is more important for Atlanta, though, is not a single great outing, but the fact that this kid can do this regularly. This is already his fifth double-digit strikeout performance in a season that has him throwing a 2.67 ERA on 114.2 innings pitched. He has appeared 28 times and started 17, racking up 174 strikeouts along the way.
Strider is lighting the league up and at only 23 years old, and the Braves just might have hit a gold mine in him.
The key to Atlanta’s run is what is happening all around the team. After Strider was pulled, Kenley Jansen came in for a flawless ninth inning to save the game for the Braves. Not only pitching well, but playing well and most importantly piling up the wins is the new look of the Atlanta Braves. On track to break the 100-win mark this season, this could be the best Braves team that we have seen in two decades. For a defending champion, that is saying something.
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