Rookie Pitcher Sets Braves Strikeout Record

Spencer Strider’s excellent rookie season reached another level this week, as the rookie sensation set a Braves’ franchise record with 16 strikeouts in an excellent start against the Rockies on Thursday. The Rockies had no answer for Strider, who gave up just two hits in 8 shutout innings before making way for closer Kenley Jansen in the 9th.

Strider has forced himself into the NL Rookie of the Year debate despite starting the season in the bullpen. Excellent work as a reliever, as well as injuries and ineffectiveness from the Braves’ rotation, earned him a promotion to starter, and he hasn’t looked back. He has put up a 2.67 Earned Run Average, striking out 13.7 batters per 9 innings. He’s slotted behind Max Fried and Kyle Wright to form one of the best 1-2-3’s in baseball for Atlanta, who currently occupy the top Wild Card spot and are looking to defend their reign as champions.

The 23-year-old was a 4th round pick out of Clemson in the 2020 draft, making his rapid ascent even more surprising. Using a high-90’s fastball and a high-80’s slider, Strider has dominated hitters all year, no matter the situation. With ace Mike Soroka still rehabbing and unlikely to be a factor this season, the Braves will hope Strider can continue to perform at this level in the playoffs. 

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