The Baltimore Orioles have employed some great pitchers in their history, but which ones recorded the most strikeouts?
The Baltimore Orioles haven’t done a very good job of preventing runs over the past few years. They’ve reached a new low in 2018, ranking dead last in the American League with a 5.24 ERA.
Things weren’t always this bad, of course. With six postseason appearances and a pair of World Series wins, the Birds were among baseball’s great dynasties during the late 1960s and early ’70s, and their outstanding pitching staff was a cornerstone of those contenders. All told, Oriole pitchers have won a whopping six AL Cy Young Awards, well ahead of most other teams.
When it comes to measuring a pitcher’s performance and potential, few stats are as important as strikeouts. Wins are heavily predicated on run support, but with strikeouts, nothing gets in the way of the basic conflict between pitcher and batter. With the modern game’s ever-increasing whiff rate, it’s no surprise that the best arms in baseball — Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Clayton Kershaw — are also some of the foremost strikeout artists.
Given that strikeouts have been on the rise for 11 straight years, you might expect this list to be populated by recent hurlers, but that’s not the case. The Orioles simply haven’t been developing quality pitching in the last decade, and those that do succeed are usually gone after a couple of seasons.
As such, the following slides feature some throwback names, so sit back and take a trip down memory lane as we profile the top five strikeout pitchers in Baltimore Orioles history.