Nolasco’s Insane Performance

The season may be in its final days, but last night we saw one of the finest pitching performances of the campaign. Ricky Nolasco faced off against Javier Vazquez and the Atlanta Braves and pulled a pretty incredible feat. In seven and two-thirds innings against a total of 29 batters Nolasco struck out 16 batters. He also walked two, allowed four hits, generated five grounders, and a single pop fly; all on 123 pitches.

Since 1954 only 103 games have featured a pitcher striking out 16 or more batters. 21 of those games saw the pitcher go eight or less innings with almost a half a dozen of those belonging to Randy Johnson. Nolasco did it on 29 batters faced; something only five other pitchers have done:

Pedro Martinez 4-8-2001 16 K 29 BF
Randy Johnson 8-23-2001 16 K 28 BF & 7-18-2001 16 K 23 BF
Mark Prior 6-26-2003 16 K 27 BF
Johan Santana 8-19-2007 17 K 26 BF
Jake Peavy 4-25-2007 16 K 25 BF & 5-22-2006 16 K 25 BF

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention those who struck out 16 or more while facing 50+ batters in a game. Tom Cheney pitched 16 innings in 1962, striking out 21 of the 62 he saw. Nolan Ryan faced 58 and fanned 19 of them in 1974. Chris Short struck out 18 of 56 in 1965 and Bob Veale sat down 16 of 52 the year prior. These guys were less about efficiency and more about longevity.

Back to Nolasco. This has been a tumultuous season for the 26-year-old righty. In late May he was demoted, but since returning two weeks later he’s thrown 133.2 innings, struck out 142, walked 29, and thrown 66% strikes. He’s one of those oddballs with FIP and tRAs far more soothing to the eye than his 5-something ERA this year – a factor that could raise some to question whether he has the ability to pitch successfully in the majors.

Those questions ceased for at least one night.

We hoped you liked reading Nolasco’s Insane Performance by R.J. Anderson!

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ma
Guest
ma

Why isn’t Kerry Wood’s 20K v 27 BF on the list? Or am I misreading this somehow?

Trenchtown
Guest
Trenchtown

Eight innings or less brah

ma
Guest
ma

I guess. But still the focus of the list below is date, K’s, and BF’s.