Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Pitchers racking up big K's

MLB Notebook: Pitchers racking up big K's

MLB Notebook: Pitchers racking up big K's
In 1998, Randy Johnson struck out at least 10 batters in a game on 20 occasions. Curt Schilling had 15 double-digit strikeout games that year, and Roger Clemens had 11. This trio accounted for just about 25 percent of all the double-digit performances from pitchers that year, which also happened to be an expansion year.

The 1998 season had more games with pitchers striking out at least 10 batters than any other season in the live-ball era. The total of 187 that year was more than the total from the 14 seasons between 1920-33.

In 1998, 51 pitchers had at least 10 strikeouts in a game during the first 829 games of the season. Thanks to the performances of Andy Pettitte, Cliff Lee, Ian Kennedy and Yovani Gallardo on Tuesday night, the 2012 season -- which has 829 contests in the books -- has had 55 games in which a pitcher has fanned at least 10.

Pettitte allowed two hits in 7 1/3 innings, struck out 10 and picked up the win to improve to 3-2 in the Yankees' 7-0 win over the Rays.

Pettitte has made five starts this season, and in two of them, has gone at least seven innings and allowed no runs. Those two represent half of the Yankees' total of such games for the season, with Hiroki Kuroda having the other two.

With his 243rd career victory, Pettitte tied Juan Marichal for 53rd all-time. Among southpaws, Pettitte owns the 12th most wins, with Carl Hubbell, at 253, having the 11th most.

Lee struck out 12 in the Phillies' 2-1 loss to the Dodgers for his 20th career game with at least 10 K's. He is the 22nd left-handed pitcher since 1920 with at least 20 double-digit strikeout games.

Lee walked only one in the outing, giving him 16 games with at least 10 K's and no more than one walk. That total ties Lee with Steve Carlton for the fifth most for a southpaw since 1920. Johnson had 79 games of this kind, Johan Santana owns 31, Sandy Koufax had 29 and Mickey Lolich had 17.

The Cubs' Ryan Dempster picked up his first win of the season, allowing three hits in seven shutout innings in a 10-0 win over the Brewers.

Dating back to Aug. 16, 2011, Dempster had gone 18 consecutive starts without a victory. Over the course of that winless streak, he owned a 3.95 ERA, allowed 108 hits in 114 innings, fanned 105 against 48 walks and was tagged with nine losses.

Since moving into the Cubs' rotation in 2008, Dempster has 13 games in which he has gone at least seven innings and allowed no more than three hits. Those 13 since '08 tie him with Lee, Ted Lilly and Javier Vazquez for the 14th most in the Majors. Jered Weaver leads all pitchers with 19 such games since '08, followed by Ubaldo Jimenez, with 18.

David Wright's sixth-inning home run in the Mets' 7-6 loss to Washington allowed him to score his 736th career run, making him the franchise's all-time leader in that category. Wright was already the Mets' career leader in doubles, total bases, RBIs and extra-base hits.

Wright is also approaching leadership in two other categories, as he is second in hits (102 behind Ed Kranepool) and third in walks (one behind Bud Harrelson for second place and eight behind Darryl Strawberry for the top spot).

The Astros' Jose Altuve tied a career high with four hits in the team's 9-8 victory over the Cardinals.

In 111 career games, Altuve has 14 games with three or more hits. The only Astros player to have more three-hit games through his first 111 contests was Brian Hunter, with 18.

For the entirety of the Majors since 1918, Joe DiMaggio owns the most three-hit games through his first 111 games, with 22. Altuve's 14 are tied for 26th most.

Kennedy tied a career high with 12 strikeouts, walked only one and combined with two D-backs relievers on a six-hitter in Arizona's 10-0 win over the Rockies.

Kennedy is the third pitcher in Arizona's history to have multiple games of 12 or more strikeouts with no more than one walk (Kennedy's first came on Sept. 19, 2011). Johnson had 21 of these performances for the D-backs and Schilling had 13.

Here and there
• Gallardo struck out 10, giving him 16 career games with double-digit K's. Those 16 tied Gallardo with Teddy Higuera for the most in Brewers franchise history.

• Atlanta's Dan Uggla hit two homers to reach 200 for his career. Uggla, who debuted in 2006, is the 27th player in history to hit at least 200 through his first seven seasons. Uggla is currently tied with Mike Piazza at 200, with Mickey Mantle next in line, at 207.

• The Indians finished with a rather unusual combination of three triples and four singles in their 4-2 win over the Tigers. Before this game, no team had collected at least three triples and no other extra-base hits since the Royals, on Sept. 21, 1998. That game was also against Detroit.

• Bruce Chen (seven innings, four hits) and two relievers combined on a five-hitter against the Twins, giving the Royals a 1-0 victory for the first time since Aug. 15, 2010. Since snapping their 12-game losing streak on April 25, the Royals own the second-best winning percentage (.568) in the American League.

• Francisco Liriano became the 62nd pitcher to strike out four batters in an inning. Liriano -- the first Twins pitcher to achieve the feat since Scott Baker in 2008 -- is the third pitcher to do it this season. He joins Houston's Bud Norris (April 24) and Oakland's Ryan Cook (April 27).

• Mark Trumbo hit two home runs as part of a 4-for-4, four-RBI night, and he led the Angels to a 6-1 win over the Mariners. Trumbo is ranked in the top three in the AL in batting average (third, .337), slugging (second, .634) and OPS (third, 1.018).

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.