The Washington Nationals joined select company on Sunday, when Patrick Corbin recorded his 200th strikeout on the season. For most pitchers, reaching that number makes them the undisputed ace on their staff. Corbin, however, was the third National to hit the mark this season (on Sept. 1, no less), behind Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Predictably, the trio has made history.
The only National League team to ever accomplish what the Nationals did was the 1969 Houston Astros, behind the trio of Larry Dierker, Tom Griffin, and Don Wilson.
It’s worth noting that four American League squads have had at least three pitchers record 200 or more strikeouts, including last year’s Astros. The 2018 Cleveland team had four pitchers do it, becoming the first team to ever lay claim to that feat. Meanwhile, the 1967 Minnesota Twins — Dave Boswell, Dean Chance, and Jim Kaat — qualify as a fine trivia stumper.
For those wondering, the Astros are the only other team in baseball with at least two pitchers over 200 strikeouts on the year. Zack Greinke is 42 strikeouts away from giving Houston a third. He’s eclipsed that number in a month once all season — that coming in March/April, when he fanned 46 batters in seven starts. As such, he’s unlikely to get there.
The Nationals trio did get there, though, and those three pitchers are a big part of why Washington is positioned to reach the postseason.
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