Home > Uncategorized > Aaron Cook Moves 2 Strikeouts Closer To Nolan Ryan’s All-Time Record

Aaron Cook Moves 2 Strikeouts Closer To Nolan Ryan’s All-Time Record

Only 5,150 to go!

Aaron Cook, maestro on the mound, had the fearsome Texas Rangers lineups in knots over seven innings last night.

He struck out one guy after another guy.

And that was it, because he struck out two guys.

Those Texas boys were swinging and missing, swinging and missing.

Four times. They swung and missed four times.

But it was one of Cook’s more “dominant” performances this season.

The two strikeouts tied a season-high for Cook, who has reached two Ks just twice in nine starts. Those four misses were also above his usual average since he has now gotten hitters to miss a grand total of 21 pitches. Justin Verlander recorded 17 misses versus the Yankees last night.

Yes, it’s unfair to compare Aaron Cook to the reigning American League MVP. But this isn’t comparing player to player. This is comparing 51.2 innings to eight. This is comparing 720 pitches to 132.

Cook has now struck out six batters in those 51.2 innings. If he stays on his current pace, he’ll make nine more starts this year, end up with more than 100 innings pitched and finish with 12 strikeouts. While I really hope that’s the case, because no one has ever had so few strikeouts in so many innings through one season, let’s bump Cook up. Let’s say he really starts to turn up the heat and finishes with 20 Ks. The last starting pitcher to record no more than 20 strikeouts with more than 100 innings pitched was former Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Sam Zoldak, who I’m pretty sure is named Matthew Lillard in his current life. That was back in 1951, when Zoldak had 18 strikeouts over 128 innings.

There are a lot of very, very old-timers on the list of pitchers who didn’t surpass two strikeouts over nine consecutive starts, which Cook has now done. And the most recent such streak belongs to former Tigers pitcher Nate Cornejo went two or less in 16 straight starts in 2003. He struck out 46 in 194.2 innings that season.

In 2012 Cook is pitching pretty well for a guy with one pitch — a sinker — that doesn’t miss bats and is leaving the defense behind him to take care of 97 percent of the work. Again, he just limited the Rangers to one run over seven innings. He already has a shutout and has given up three or fewer runs in six of his nine starts. Of course, his K:BB ratio is bad; Cook can’t help that. But seven walks in 51.2 innings is very low. I can only hope that he remains healthy and in the Red Sox’s rotation long enough to reach that 100-inning milestone.

For one last bit of frivolous fun, let’s say Cook pitches past this year. He’s probably earned a job somewhere. If he throws like this for 150 innings per year, he’ll have to play until the age of 336 to catch Ryan’s career strikeout total.

That’s old. But that fact didn’t stop Jamie Moyer, so ….

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  1. Padrick
    August 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Cook was so wonderful during his Colorado days. He gave up some enormous bombs, including, I think, the second-longest HR from Giancarlo MikeMarkMitchell Stanton. It was awesome.

  2. August 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Here’s that shot off of Cook. It went 466 feet. http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18146833

    And that came just two days after Stanton launched the longest shot of his career at 474 feet. It was against Kevin Millwood, and we all remember it because Millwood cursed himself out as soon as bat hit ball. http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18043601

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