Baltimore Orioles: Top 5 strikeout pitchers in franchise history
2. Mike Mussina — 1,535 SO
Mussina didn’t throw as many innings as Cuellar, McNally or Jim Palmer — in fact, he ranks seventh on the Birds’ all-time list — but that didn’t stop him from carving out a prominent place in Orioles history. With the spike in strikeouts in the 1990s, this Pennsylvania native could have broken the team record if not for his infamous defection to the Yankees.
A first-round pick in the 1990 draft, Mussina enjoyed a rapid rise to the majors, making his first big league start the following August. He didn’t fan a lot of hitters early in his career, but his stuff started to come along as he hit his late 20s, posting 7.9 strikeouts per nine between 1996 and 2000.
Along the way, he won three Gold Gloves and finished in the top five of the Cy Young balloting on five occasions. He also pitched well during the playoffs, posting a 2.53 ERA across six starts.
But while Mussina is second on the Orioles’ all-time strikeout list, he also ranks 20th in the entire history of baseball, right between Mickey Lolich and Cy Young. Had he decided to stay in Baltimore, he would be head-and-shoulders above the next man on this list. Speaking of…