Nationals' Stephen Strasburg Records 1st 200-Strikeout Season of Career

Bleacher Report MilestonesFeatured Columnist IVNovember 21, 2016

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Luis M. Alvarez/Associated Press

Though he gave up five runs and lasted just four innings, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg recorded his 200th strikeout of the season during Sunday's 14-6 win over the San Francisco Giants.

He entered Sunday's contest with 198 strikeouts, looking to hit 200 for the first time in his career. The 26-year-old righty reached the milestone in the second inning when he caught Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong looking.

Strasburg had already surrendered a pair of runs at that point, and he'd later exit with a 5-2 deficit, only to watch his teammates storm back for a blowout victory. With no part in the decision, Strasburg still owns a 10-10 record, though his ERA (3.59) and WHIP (1.20) took a hit.

The right-hander became the fifth pitcher to hit the 200-strikeout mark this year, joining David Price (221), Max Scherzer (209), Corey Kluber (205) and Felix Hernandez (204), all of whom play in the American League.

Strasburg's closest competitors for the National League strikeout crown are Johnny Cueto (191) and Clayton Kershaw (184), the only two remaining candidates for Cy Young honors.

While his other statistics have been a bit disappointing this year, Strasburg is already tied for ninth place on the Nationals/Expos single-season strikeout list, with his 202 matching the total accumulated by Floyd Youmans in 1986.

Pedro Martinez, who struck out 305 batters in 1997, is safely perched atop said list. However, with Bill Stoneman (251 in 1977) sitting well below Martinez in second place, Strasburg has a shot to grab the No. 2 spot on the list.

It will take an impressive effort, as Strasburg needs 50 more strikeouts to pass Stoneman and will likely make just six, or perhaps seven, more starts this season. The NL strikeout crown is a much easier goal, though Kershaw is closing in fast.