Houston, we have a problem. And it is not from a hurler you would normally expect this kind of performance from.
Would it surprise anybody that another contest from this season would be on this list? In the era of long ball or bust, it should not. The first stop in the time machine will take us back to May 8, 2019, as the Royals visited the Houston Astros (this seems to be a popular date for Kansas City players to strikeout).
One difference that stands out to me in this game is that Houston’s starter, Brad Peacock, has been a swingman for most of his career. In fact, in 2018 he only started one game while making 60 total appearances. Coming into 2019 with arms attached to people like Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, and Wade Miley, I would not have put Peacock’s name at the top to make this list.
On this particular day, Peacock did just that. After seven strong frames with only three hits and one walk allowed he had fanned 12 batters in Royals jerseys. Josh James came in to seal the deal by punching out five of the final six hitters for a total of 17 K’s in just a nine-inning game.
Two Kansas City players managed to avoid being struck out at all – Whit Merrifield and Billy Hamilton. Making it up for that was Adalberto Mondesi, Hunter Dozier and Ryan O’Hearn who were quashed three times while Jorge Soler, Chris Owings, and Terrance Gore fell on their swords (or bats) twice.
Two other games provided Royal opponents the opportunity to top the 17 strikeout mark by one and they are next.