MLB sets single-season strikeout record for 12th season in a row thanks to more 200-K pitchers than ever before

Major League Baseball set a new single-season strikeout record for the 12th straight year on Tuesday. When Yankees reliever Stephen Tarpley struck out Rays shortstop Willy Adames in the fifth inning during Tuesday's game, it marked the record-setting 41,208th strikeout of the 2019 season. Before the record-breaking streak began in 2008, the strikeout record had been 32,404 in 2001. Strikeouts broke 40,000 for the first time in 2017.

At the conclusion of Tuesday's games, there were 153 pitchers with at least 100 strikeouts this season, tying the all-time record for a single season set last year. There's also been 22 pitchers this season to reach the 200-strikeout mark. It's the most in MLB's modern era (since 1900), topping the previous high of 15 in 1969.

Astros righty Gerrit Cole contributed to the overall strikeout record Tuesday night. Cole hopeful fanned 14 Mariners in seven shutout innings, giving him 316 strikeouts on the year.

On Tuesday, Reds' Sonny Gray, Red Sox's Eduardo Rodriguez and Giants' Madison Bumgarner each reached the 200-strikeout mark in their respective starts. AL Cy Young frontrunners and teammates Cole and Justin Verlander hold the top two spots on the MLB-wide list. Verlander has recorded 288 strikeouts so far this season, and he needs just six more strikeouts to reach 3,000 career-strikeouts. He would be just the 18th pitcher in MLB history to hit the mark, after Yankees lefty CC Sabathia reached the mark earlier the season.

NL Cy Young contenders Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg also rank in the top 10. Scherzer and Strasburg's Nationals teammate, Patrick Corbin has 230 strikeouts on the season. The Nationals, who clinched a playoff berth on Tuesday, have made history thanks to their trio of starters:

In today's game, attention to pitch counts and increased bullpen usage have become mainstays, resulting in starters not going as deep into games as they used to. This obviously means batters are having to face more pitchers in a single game. Strikeouts are also going up also because batters are having to deal with more advanced movement and faster velocity than ever before.

The league's strikeout record isn't the only record that's fallen this season. Earlier this month, the league set a new single-season record for home runs. Entering Wednesday, there were 6,590 home runs this season, surpassing the mark of 6,105 set in 2017.

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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