At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Friday, May 05, 2006

Big Unit Passes Major ‘K’ Milestone

– Notches His 4400th Strikeout, Good for 3rd All-Time –

The Yankees’ Randy Johnson became only the third pitcher in major league history to record 4,400 strikeouts when he fanned Devil Ray Nick Green in the fourth inning of last night’s game. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent of striking out 200 batters, a mark of pitching excellence, every year for 22 years.

Here are just a few other data points, as of the start of 2006, that illustrate just how remarkable Johnson’s career ‘K’ performance is:

- He has averaged 243 Ks per year, topping the 200K standard of achievement by a whopping 21.5%.

- He has averaged 10.95 Ks per nine innings pitched, which places him first on the all-time list.

- He has averaged 1.2 Ks per inning and 8.4 Ks per appearance.

- He records a strikeout every 3.36 batters.

- His career strikeout-to-walk ratio is 3.24.

The leaders in career strikeouts category are Nolan Ryan, with 5,714, and Roger Clemens 4,502. At the current rate, Johnson should move into second place sometime in mid-August, and take the lead in approximately five years. That should give you an idea of how stunning Ryan’s number are – but that’s a story for another time!

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