The 2022 Pirates Set the Franchise Record for Strikeouts (Updated)

The 2022 Pittsburgh Pirates strike out a lot. They finished the 2/3rd point of the season (108 games) with exactly 1,000 strikeouts. Some quick easy math tells you that they were on pace for 1,500 strikeouts at that point in the season. The team strikeout record is 1,354 set in 2012. That 1,500 pace tells you that unless something drastically changes, they are going to blow by that franchise record.

As of August 17th, prior to their scheduled game against the Boston Red Sox, the Pirates currently have 1,082 strikeouts in 116 games. That’s just over ten strikeouts per game since the 2/3rd point, which tells you that they have increased their record setting pace in the last eight games.

Right now the Pirates rank 20th for their all-time worst seasons for strikeouts out of 141 seasons. I’m going to create the list below of the 20 worst seasons, then update this article any time they move up a spot. I’ll note each update at the bottom of the list, so you can follow along with the progress.

Here are the top 20 worst strikeout seasons in Pirates franchise history through games on September 17th:

  1. 2022 – 1,362
  2. 2012 – 1,354
  3. 2016 – 1,334
  4. 2013 – 1,330
  5. 2021 – 1,328
  6. 2015 – 1,322
  7. 2011 – 1,308
  8. 2014 – 1,244
  9. 2018 – 1,229
  10. 2019 – 1,213
  11. 2017 – 1,213
  12. 2010 – 1,207
  13. 2006 – 1,200
  14. 1999 – 1,197
  15. 1997 – 1,161
  16. 2009 – 1,142
  17. 2007 – 1,135
  18. 2002 – 1,109
  19. 2001 – 1,106
  20. 2005 – 1,092

Clearly this list has a recent bias, as strikeouts have become much more common. Batters are taught to swing hard and hope for the best now, and it’s clearly not an approach built for contact. So it’s not odd that the 2022 Pirates are piling up strikeouts. It’s a Major League issue as teams are mass producing guys who have no approach at the plate throughout the minors, and exit velocity gets all of the attention from scouts.

The bad part here is just how quickly the Pirates made it into the top 20. All of these other seasons above saw the Pirates play at least 161 games. The current team has 46 games left and they are 272 strikeouts away from the record while averaging 9.3 strikeouts per game. That means that they might break the record with three weeks left in the season. That’s bad.

Anyway, the first update might come tomorrow, depending on how bad they do on Wednesday night.

UPDATES:

19th place: Six strikeouts on August 18th moved them into 19th place with 44 games left.

18th place: Nine strikeouts on August 19th moved them into a tie for 18th place with 43 games left.

17th place: Eight strikeouts on August 20th moved them into 17th place with 42 games left.

16th place: Nine strikeouts on August 23rd moved them into 16th place with 39 games left.

15th place: Nine strikeouts on August 24th moved them into 15th place with 38 games left.

14th place: 12 strikeouts on August 27th moved them into 14th place with 36 games left.

12th/13th place: nine strikeouts on August 31st moved them into 12th place with 32 games left.

9th/10th/11th place: nine strikeouts on September 2nd moved them into 9th place with 31 games left.

8th place: 13 strikeouts on September 4th moved them into 8th place with 29 games left.

7th place: eight strikeouts on September 6th moved them into 7th place with 28 games left.

6th place: seven strikeouts on September 13th (second game) moved them into 6th place with 20 games left.

5th place: 14 strikeouts on September 14th moved them into 5th place with 19 games left.

2nd/3rd/4th place: 16 strikeouts on September 15th moved them into 2nd place with 18 games left.

1st place: 12 strikeouts on September 17th broke the record with 16 games left.

That’s the final daily update, though I’ll try to remember to add the final total at the end of the year.

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