Jon Gray strikes out 16, sets new Rockies franchise record

Drew Creasman Avatar
September 18, 2016

 

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DENVER — At this point of the season, every strikeout that Jon Gray notches is a special one because it continues to extend his Colorado Rockies record for Ks in a rookie season. But Saturday night against the San Diego Padres, Gray put his name in another ledger in the record books, breaking the franchise mark for strikeouts in a single game set by Darryl Kile in 1998 against the Montreal Expos. Previously set at 14, Gray punched out 16 Padres to break the 18-year-old record. Jon Gray was 6 in 1998.

Gray also broke the record for most strikeouts in Coors Field history, set by Randy Johnson in 2001. The company doesn’t get any better than that. Additionally, he allowed just four hits in the game and threw his first career complete game shutout.

Gray has had an up-and-down season marred by some bad luck and inconsistency but overflowing with flashes of brilliance. This was his fifth double-digit strikeout game of 2016 and if he maintains his season pace, he will end up with the 5th most strikeouts in a single season for any Rockies pitcher ever. Accomplishing such a feat — getting in the Top 5 — in his rookie season would be damned impressive.

The Rockies rookie fireballer also recorded his 200th career strikeout in this game becoming the second pitcher in franchise history to do so in less than 200 innings. The only other was Rex Brothers.

In total, Gray has 174 strikeouts so far this year. Only two pitchers in Rockies franchise history have a 200+ strikeout season to their name. As mentioned, Gray is already the most prolific rookie strikeout artist the team has ever had, every K bettering his own record.

Time will tell if this achievement becomes one of many on the way to stardom but it has been one hell of a rookie campaign for the kid from Oklahoma.

 

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