With MLB strikeout rates at an all-time high, let’s take a look back at the top five biggest strikeout pitchers in San Diego Padres history.
It’s only May, however, Major League Baseball fans are witnessing historic strikeout rates across the board. The last 10 seasons have seen an increase in strikeouts with this season on pace to become the highest ever. According to a recent post by Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post, MLB hitters are striking out in nearly 23% of at-bats. The San Diego Padres are well on their way to breaking the record for most team strikeouts in a season, though they probably won’t be the only team to do so in 2018.
Greenberg defines a number of reasons for this, such as the increased use of specialized relievers, the launch angle revolution, and umpires doing a much better job of calling strikes.
The emergence of Joey Lucchesi and his mesmerizing delivery followed by his now-famous “churve” pitch have captivated San Diego fans. He’s recorded 46 strikeouts through his first 42 innings of his career.
Tyson Ross and his dominating slider have produced an even higher strikeout rate, sitting down 46 in 41 innings. However, the excitement and buzz surrounding Joey Lucchesi lead us to take a look at some of the best strikeout pitchers in San Diego Padres’ history.
So many statistics that are commonly used to define a pitcher’s success rate are dependent on variables outside of the pitcher’s control. A bad defense can spike up their earned run average while a poor offense severely limits their opportunities to rack up wins. Strikeouts are dependent only on a pitcher’s ability to hit their marks, mix their pitches, and outsmart the opposing hitter.
With that being said, let’s take a little history trip through the top strikeout pitchers in San Diego franchise history.