April 22, 2021

Brewers' Corbin Burnes: First Starter Ever To Begin A Season With 0 BB, 40 K

Milwaukee right-hander Corbin Burnes has made four starts this season, striking out 40 batters while walking none

Since 1893, when the pitching rubber was set at 60 feet, 6 inches, no starting pitcher has begun a season with 40+ strikeouts before issuing a walk.

Burnes is the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1901) to have 40+ strikeouts and 0 walks in any four-game stretch of any season.

Burnes is the first pitcher to have 9+ strikeouts and allow 0 or 1 run in each of his first four appearances in a season. Three pitchers had three such starts: Pedro Martinez (Red Sox, 1998), Curt Schilling (Phillies, 1998), and Bob Feller (Cleveland, 1939).

Okay . . . here's where it gets seriously insane:

Burnes is the first pitcher to begin a season with four starts of 9+ strikeouts and 0 BB. No other pitcher has had more than one such start!

Burnes is the first pitcher to have 9+ strikeouts, 0 BB, and 4 or fewer total bases allowed in each of his first four starts. Again, no pitcher has had more than one (and only 13 pitchers have even done that)! In fact, no other pitcher has had four such starts (consecutive or non-consecutive) over an entire season.

Most Strikeouts Without A Walk (Starter Or Reliever) To Start A Season

51: Kenley Jansen (2017 Dodgers)*
40: Burnes (2021 Brewers)
35: Adam Wainwright (2013 Cardinals)
31: Noah Syndergaard (2017 Mets)
30: Sean Doolittle (2014 Athletics)*
30: Billy Wagner (2004 Phillies)*
30: Dennis Eckersley (1990 Athletics)*

Lowest WHIP Through First 4 Pitching Appearances In A Season

0.329  Corbin Burnes (2021 Brewers)
0.411  Cliff Lee (2008 Cleveland)
0.444  Jim Tobin (1944 Boston)
0.500  Atlee Hammaker (1983 Giants)
0.517  Pedro Martinez (2005 Mets)
(minimum 20 IP)

April 14: Burnes was the first pitcher with 30 strikeouts and no walks in his first three starts since 1906. Burnes's two-run single (the first RBIs of his career) means he has driven in twice as many runs as he has allowed.

April 20: Burnes pitches six walkless innings against the Padres, who have the highest walk rate in MLB.

Burnes' last 10 starts (six in 2020 and four in 2021): 57.2 innings, 0.78 ERA, 92 strikeouts, 8 walks.

Over his last 84 innings pitched, Burnes has nearly three times as many strikeouts (128) as hits allowed (45).

Burnes has come a long way since a dismal 8.82 ERA in 2019. Last year, his 2.11 ERA led to a sixth-place finish in the NL's Cy Young Award balloting.

Of the 85 batters Burnes has faced, only 10 have reached a three-ball count. Burnes has had only one 3-0 count this year (Tommy Edman, Cardinals, April 8) and he came back to strike him out.

His next start is Monday against the Marlins.

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