Anibal Sánchez sets Tigers' strikeout record

Leon Halip

You might think that Justin Verlander owns the Detroit Tigers' single-game strikeout record. Or if not Verlander, then Denny McLain or Jack Morris or Mickey Lolich or Hal Newhouser. You know, one of the guys in the franchise's Pantheon.

Well, before Friday night you would have been right. Before Friday night, Mickey Lolich owned the franchise record for strikeouts in one game, with 16. Oh, and he did that twice within the space of a few weeks in 1969. Impressive!

And then along comes Anibal Sánchez. Friday night, in just his 17th start as a Tiger, Sánchez struck out 17 Braves. Oh, and he did that in only eight innings. Impressive!

Sánchez was pulled after throwing 121 pitches, thus missing a shot at the all-time record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game (20). Considering that 121 pitches is a considerable number and the Tigers were winning 10 to nothing, there was little to be gained from another inning of work.

As I said, impressive. But now that we've exited the Steroid Era, we seem to have entered Era K. And so we can expect to see more strikeout records fall this season. And next season, and every season thereafter until Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players' Association decides that enough is enough and the fielders should get involved once in a while, too.

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