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Seattle Mariners pitcher George Kirby doesn’t have time for your four-hour baseball games.
Kirby, a rookie, channeled his inner-Greg Maddux by throwing 24 straight strikes to open Wednesday’s game against the Nationals.
Yep, that would be a MLB record.
According to STATS – which started tracking pitches in 1988 – the previous mark was 21, achieved by the Pirates’ Joe Musgrove in 2018. Before that, Atlanta’s Ervin Santana reached 20 in 2014.
“It just sets you up for the whole at-bat,” Kirby said. “I mean, if you get strike one, the hitter has got to protect five pitches now. Just attack. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.”
The rookie started the game with a quick three-pitch punchout before giving up three straight singles and a run. He settled down after that, though, striking out nine over seven innings.
Kirby threw just one “ball” during the run, but was saved when Washington’s CJ Abrams swung at the low and away changeup and ended up with an infield single. Pitches are considered a strike if a batter swings (duh), no matter where it’s located.
Kirby’s first ball came in the third inning.
George Kirby set an MLB record today when he didn’t throw a ball until his 25th pitch. 😱
(MLB x @CueHealth) pic.twitter.com/BhGUJpYLUi
— MLB (@MLB) August 24, 2022
I don’t know about you, but I think that should’ve been a strike.
Yes, it was outside the zone, but when your horse on the mound pounds the strike zone 24 straight times, you call that a strike. When a pitcher is all over the place, umps have no problem tightening the zone on a close pitch, so I’m considering that a missed call … not that anyone asked.
Regardless, let’s all be more like George Kirby, MLB. Work fast, work efficiently, pepper the zone and let the chips fall where they may.
Although, to be fair, not everyone on the bump has this filth in their arsenal. You’re either spitting on that or splintering your bat into a million pieces.
George Kirby, Painted 96mph Front Door Two Seamer. 🎨🖌️ pic.twitter.com/aur4Benmjk
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 24, 2022