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« Gammons Straw Poll: Yankees vs. Red Sox | Main | Deconstructing Darvish »

Third Out Strikeouts - the inning's exclamation point

"He struck him out, and the side is retired!"

I'm not a fan of exclamation points but if we could ascribe a punctuation mark to an inning, it would be the strikeout that ends an inning. There is something both dramatic and discouraging about the end of inning whiff, obviously depending upon which side of the whiff you are on.

The end of the inning strikeout may come after six runs have scored which means it evoke a sigh of relief or discouragement. It may be the third (or even the fourth) strikeout of the inning, which invariably deserves the same number of exclamation points as there were whiffs, as in "He struck out the side!!!"

It's a great race this season for inning-ending strikeouts

Nine to Know

Great pitch location for Hernandez

Top 10

Let's up the ante - Inning-ending strikeouts with runners in scoring position

A.J. Burnett has had two strikeouts with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count!

Super Six

Pitchers who have ended the 9th or extra-innings with a whiff

Chapman has 41 Ks, 25 on pitchers 95+ mph

Elite Eight

Pitchers who have ended the 9th or extra-innings with a whiff w/RISP

  • Aroldis Chapman has ended seven innings
  • Fernando Rodney has ended six innings
  • Addison Reed has ended six innings
  • Mariano Rivera has ended five innings
  • Greg Holland has ended four innings
  • Grant Balfour has ended four innings
  • Craig Kimbrel has ended four innings

Two Sides to every coin

For every pitcher that throws an inning-ending strikeout, there is a batter who returns to the dugout with his head down.

The leader in that category this season is Mike Napoli, who so far has 27 inning-ending strikeouts.


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