What pitcher had the most strikeouts in Major League Baseball history?
Nolan Ryan holds the career MLB strikeout record with 5,714.
That's a tough question to answer because there is really no 'average MLB pitcher' stats. Some pitchers, like the starter, might pitch 6 or 7 innings in a game while a reliever may come in and only pitch to 1 batter. The chances are that the average starter will have more strikeouts than the average reliever. However, it is pretty easy to say how many strikeouts are in the average MLB game. In the National…
The most strikeouts by a single pitcher in a single MLB game is 21 by Tom Cheney of the Washington Senators in a game against the Baltimore Orioles in 1962. The game lasted 16 innings and Cheney pitched all 16. The most strikeouts by a single pitcher in a 9 inning game is 20 and is held jointly by Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson, and Roger Clemens.
There have been three pitchers to strikeout 20 batters in one game and one pitcher to strikeout 21 batters in a game. The three to strikeout 20 were Kerry Wood, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson. All three struckout all those batters in a nine inning game. The pitcher to strikeout 21 batters, Tom Cheney, needed 16 innings. Cheney's 21 strikeouts is the MLB record for strikeouts by a pitcher in a single game.
There are two leagues in American major league baseball, the American League and the National League. The American League has the designated hitter rule which allows for someone other than the pitcher to bat in the pitcher's place. The pitcher does not bat in the American League. The National League does not have the designated hitter rule. The pitcher does bat in the National League.
In a minor league game, Ron Necciai struckout 27 batters in a game for the Bristol Twins of the Appalachian League in 1952. In a major league game, Tom Cheney struckout 21 batters in a 16 inning complete game for the Washington Senators in 1962. Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson, and Roger Clemens hold the nine inning major league record with 20 strikeouts in a game.