Once again, Corbin Burnes is reaching milestones and breaking records. The Brewers co-ace starting pitcher has just reached 200 strikeouts in the 2021 season.
In just his 25th start of the season, Burnes hit the milestone strikeout number in the 2nd inning against Bobby Bradley.
With Burnes reaching the magic 200 punchout number, there have now been 10 of these seasons by Brewers pitchers in franchise history. The record belongs to Ben Sheets in 2004 when he struck out 264. But Sheets threw 237 IP that year, while Burnes reached 200 in just 145.2 IP.
There may not be enough time for Burnes to catch Sheets in the total, but he’s far beyond in the strikeouts per nine innings ratio. Burnes is currently holding the franchise record for K/9, entering the day with a 12.25 K/9, more than a full strikeout higher than the previous record, set last year by Brandon Woodruff.
200 strikeouts is just another indication of Corbin Burnes having a special season for the Brewers.
The things Burnes and this Brewers rotation have been doing this year are like nothing we have ever seen before. While this is the 10th time a Brewers pitcher has recorded a 200 K season, seven of them finished between 200 and 208 strikeouts. Burnes is excluded from that list because his season is not yet done.
There have only been two seasons by Brewers pitchers with more than 208 strikeouts in franchise history, Sheets in ’04 (264) and Teddy Higuera in 1987 (240). Burnes will join that group very shortly.
Burnes is competing for the NL Cy Young this year, and his gaudy strikeout totals are certainly helping his case. Also his low ERA, low FIP, and other statistics are making plenty of noise themselves.
The fact that he reached this total in so few innings is remarkable. He reached 200 Ks in 437 outs made. That’s 45.7% of all outs he’s gotten were achieved via the strikeout.
Burnes is continuing to re-write the record books, not only for the Brewers, but also for major league baseball. He should be considered the frontrunner for NL Cy Young and he continues to improve his case every time out.
Burnes should still have about three more starts to make in the regular season, which will give him plenty more opportunities to add to this strikeout total and perhaps chase down Teddy Higuera’s 240 strikeouts from 1987.
The Brewers have enjoyed watching Burnes’ development this year, and he’s been an essential piece of this team’s success.