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It’s Possible that Braves Spencer Strider Can Be Better Than He Was In 2023

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In 2021, The Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider made his MLB debut on October 1st, and in one inning of relief, he allowed one run on two hits with no strikeouts. Two days later, he tossed 1.1 shutout innings of relief and earned his first MLB victory over the New York Mets. That season the Braves went on to win the World Series, but Strider was not part of the postseason, as he was just on the cusp of becoming great.

On April 7th, 2022, Strider came out of the pen for the Braves and threw two shutout and hitless innings, and struck out five batters. For the next five appearances, he was part of the relief core and had some struggles, but worked through them and after 11 games, he was 1-1, with a 2.22 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched. He had one outstanding game in relief on May 6th, when he tossed four shutout innings, allowing four hits and struck out eight batters. Strider entered the game in the top of the second, and quickly struck out the side, showing his dominance at an early stage in his career.

At the end of May, the Braves finally gave him an opportunity to make a start, and in 4.1 innings, he allowed three earned runs on four hits and struck out seven batters, but he would be charged with the loss.

Strider remained a starter for the rest of the season, and after some up and down games that summer, he put together a brilliant 16 strikeout performance on September 1st, tossing eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits, no walks and earning ninth victory on the season. After his dominating game, he had back to back nine strikeout games, and ended the 2022 season with a gem, as he tossed six innings of one hit ball, allowing one earned run and struck out 10 batters. Strider finished the season 11-5, with a 2.67 ERA, and 202 strikeouts in 131.2 innings, with opponents batting just .180 against him and a 0.99 WHIP spanning 31 games (20 starts).

The 2023 season was his coming out party as a dominating pitcher, as he finished with a MLB best 20 wins and 281 strikeouts.

His dominance on the mound included a 1-hit six shutout inning game, with nine strikeouts on April 18th, and then he topped that off with an eight shutout inning game, in which he allowed two hits and struck out 13 batters on April 24th. Strider was not that great in the early part of the season, as he did struggle with a few lopsided games, especially a game on June 8th against the New York Mets, when he lasted just four innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits, but still struck out eight batters.

By the time August rolled around, he was 11-3, ended the month 5-1, and had three straight solid games where he shut down the offense. On August 12th, he tossed seven shutout innings, allow just three hits and struck out six batters.  Then in his next outing, Strider pitched seven shutout innings again, allowing just one hit and struck out 10 batters. Seven days later, he hit the jackpot with another seven inning gem, allowing one run on three hits and nine strikeouts.

In September, Strider reverted back to allowing runs on the board, as he posted a 5.60 ERA for the month, but still went 4-1 to finish the season a 20 game winner.

The 2024 spring season, was his most dominating spring of his career as he was 3-1, with a 0.79 ERA, with 35 strikeouts in 22.2 innings on the mound. In six starts, he allowed just two runs on 15 hits, and those two runs came in his last outing on March 23rd, in which he took the loss.

Even with the loss, it is almost scary to think how much better he can be in 2024 and if he will be able to pass the 300+ K mark for a season.

There have been over 69 pitchers that have reached 300 strikeouts in a season, with Nolan Ryan being the leader in the modern-day era with 381 in 1973. That is just 100 more than what Strider had in 2023, and with how he piles up the strikeouts, its not an unreachable feat. The only caveat is that Ryan appeared in 41 games that season, which is unheard of for a starter these days, but Strider is that type of pitcher who is capable of mowing down multiple opposing batters in half the time.

It took Ryan five full seasons for him to reach the 300 club, where as for Strider, he came within just 20 of reaching 300 strikeouts in just his second full season. So to think that it could be possible, would be an exciting achievement to witness.

The Braves have their sites set on another World Series Championship, and they have the tools to get there and also win it, but a full dominating season by Strider, where he can possibly have another 20 win season and 300+ strikeouts, will make the season, even more special for the organization and its fans.

Lookout Nolan Ryan, Spencer Strider is coming for your record and he may just get there faster than anyone in MLB history.

 

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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