With batters swinging for the fences at a historic level in 2019, Major League Baseball set a new single-season strikeout record for the 12th straight season on Tuesday night.
Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Willy Adames went down swinging on a pitch from the New York Yankees’ Stephen Tarpley in the fifth inning, marking the 41,208th strikeout of the season, breaking the mark that was set in 2018.
Before the record run started in 2008, the mark had been 32,404 in 2001. Strikeouts totaled 29,937 in 1996, before reaching the 30,000 mark for the first time the following year.
Tuesday’s record came less than two weeks after MLB broke the single-season record for home runs. Entering Tuesday, there were 6,550 home runs this season, smashing the mark of 6,105, set in 2017.
As much as the 2019 season has been defined by the long ball, strikeouts have been almost as prominent.
Entering the day, there were 151 players with at least 100 strikeouts this season. The all-time record for a single season is 153 players, a mark set in 2018. Three players entered Tuesday with 99 strikeouts (Max Kepler, Kevin Kiermaier and Adam Jones).
The 2019 season has seen 22 pitchers reach the 200-strikeout plateau, the most in the Modern Era (since 1900). Sonny Gray of the Cincinnati Reds, Eduardo Rodriguez of the Boston Red Sox and Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants each crossed the 200 mark in their starts Tuesday night.