When it comes to offensive stats it’s unusual to come across one where Hall of Famer and Red Sox legend Ted Williams didn’t dominate. Often, Williams is right at the top of the list and I hear a voice in my head saying, “Well, of course, he did!”
When it comes to pitching it’s much the same for Hall of Famer Pedro Martínez.
This week I was reading about the terrific season Corbin Burnes has been putting together for the Brewers. His 2.23 ERA over 20 starts this year is third-best in the Major Leagues. And Burnes has company on that list. Sandwiched between teammates Brandon Woodruff (2.18) and Freddy Peralta (2.26), it’s no wonder Milwaukee has been standout team to watch in the National League.
But it was Burnes’ performance on August 11 that really caught my attention. That’s when he stuck out 15 without allowing a single run or a walk, a franchise record.
It was Burnes’ fourth time this season with 10+ strikeouts, no walks, and no runs, and that puts him in elite company. Only the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw (in 2015) and Martínez (in 2000) have had as many such games in a single season.
Over those four incredible games Kershaw allowed 18 total hits with 48 total strikeouts. For his four games, Burnes allowed 14 hits, also with 48 strikeouts.
But Pedro Martínez demonstrated what we already knew, that he’s the elite among the elite. Pedro allowed just 12 hits over his special four games, the fewest of them all. And he the struck out the most, too, with 53 punch outs over that span.
Well, I thought to myself, of course he did!