A couple of weeks ago it was noted that Yankee relief pitcher Dellin Betances had 22 SO in 9 innings over multiple games. This was thought to be a record. Here is some of the research that was done:
Most strikeouts in 9 inning stretch:
The highest I found since 1946 were two strings of 23. The first was by
Kenley Jansen, starting in the 9th inning of the 9-1-2011 game ...
Aroldis Chapman, starting in the 9th inning of the 6-26-2012
The first string of 21 was recorded by Dick Radatz (starting in the
10th inning on 5-18-1965) and 22 was done first by Rudy Seanez (starting in the 6th inning on 5-17-2005).
single-game strikeout leaders
20 in nine inning games:
Roger Clemens 1986
Roger Clemens 1996
Kerry Wood 1998
Tom Cheney, of course has the single game record: 21 SO in a 15 inning game.
So we have a mix of single games by starters and multiple games by relief pitchers. Not addressed explicitly: multiple games by starters.
What sticks out is the stretch by Radatz because it happened in a completely different era, more than 20 years before the first Clemens 20 SO game, which itself also seems isolated.
The 1965 season had that SO streak early but devolved into the sudden demise of Radatz. Let's examine the SO burst by Dick Radatz in May 1965.
Mickey Mantle seemed to have a hole in his bat when swinging against Radatz, so my initial suspicion was that Radatz fattened up against the Yankees and Mantle in particular. Mantle was tied for third most SO against Radatz: 12 in only 16 AB. Yikes. Three hits: single, double, homer:
Wednesday, June 17, 1964, 2:04PM, Yankee Stadium I
Attendance: 9,668, Time of Game: 3:28
Red Sox 4, Yankees 3 in 12 innings
HR: M Mantle (12, off D Radatz, 8th inn, 0 on, 0 outs to Deep CF-RF).
W: Dick Radatz (5-3)
L: Ralph Terry (2-6)
S: Bob Heffner (3)
The 9 inning, 21 SO streak:
Tuesday, May 18, 1965, 8:03PM, Yankee Stadium I
Attendance: 12,371, Time of Game: 3:32
Yankees 4, Red Sox 3 in 12 innings
Boston Red Sox
|Dick Radatz, BS (4), L (2-3)||3.1||4||2||2||1||6||0||7.18||15||0||0||-0.452||3.17||-1.2|
|Date||team||place||innings||SO||cum SO||cum inn|
|Tuesday, May 18, 1965||Yankees||New York||2.33||6||6||2.33|
|Friday, May 21, 1965||Indians||Cleveland||0.66||0||6||3|
|Wednesday, May 26, 1965||Twins||Boston||2||4||10||5|
|Thursday, May 27, 1965||Twins||Boston||0.66||2||12||5.66|
|Friday, May 28, 1965||KC As||Boston||2.66||7||19||8.32|
|Sunday, May 30, 1965||KC As||Boston||1.66||3||22||10|
|Monday, May 31, 1965||Angels||Boston||3.66||2||24||13.66|
|Saturday, June 5, 1965||KC As||Kansas City||3||8||32||16.66|
Radatz would have reached the nine innings during the Sunday game against the Kansas City As. But look at his next two games. They brought his SO to 32 in 16.66 innings. A record? Beats me.
Sunday, May 30, 1965, , Fenway Park
Attendance: 10,024, Time of Game: 3:18
Red Sox 3, As 2 in 11 innings
Only the first two thirds of an inning pitched by Radatz count towards the 9 full innings in this situation. Radatz relieved in the 10th inning of a 2-2 tie game with one on, one out. Radatz SO Bert Campaneris, single to Jim Landis, SO Jim Gentile. Stop the clock.
21 SO in those 9 innings.
Radatz then SO leadoff batter N. Mathews in the 11th, finished the inning and Radatz was the winning pitcher when Boston scored in the bottom of the 11th.