Baltimore Orioles All-Time Strikeout Leaders
When you think of the Baltimore Orioles, you think of those dominant teams in the early ‘70’s, and in particular 1971, when they boasted four 20-game winners. That’s a feat that almost assuredly will never happen again. But this franchise has fielded great pitchers beyond Palmer, Cuellar, McNally and Pat Dobson. Here is a list of the all-time Top 10 in strikeouts for the Orioles:
Jim Palmer (2212)—Hall of Famer Jim Palmer was one of the best pitchers in baseball history. Palmer played for the Orioles his entire career, from 1965 to 1984, going 268-152. But what is maybe most astounding is that he won 20 or more games in eight of nine seasons between 1970 and 1977. Palmer also ranks first in Orioles’ history with 2212 strikeouts. He had a career best 199 K’s in 1970, but Palmer’s best overall season was 1975—when he went 23-11 with a 2.09 ERA and 193 strikeouts, with 25 complete games and 10 shutouts.
Mike Mussina (1535)—Mike Mussina played for Baltimore most of his career, from 1991 to 2000, and while he never won 20 games as an Oriole, he had some amazing seasons there. Mussina ranks second in franchise history with 1535 strikeouts, including a career high 218 K’s in 1997, when he also went 15-8 with a 3.20 ERA.
Dave McNally (1476)—Lefty Dave McNally played most of his career in Baltimore, from 1962 to 1974, and he won 181 games over that span, striking out 1476 batters. The strikeouts rank McNally third in Baltimore history, and his best season was 1968, when he went 22-10 with a 1.95 ERA and career high 202 strikeouts.
Mike Flanagan (1297)—Mike Flanagan had two tours of duty with the Orioles—from 1975 to 1987, and again in 1991 and 1992. Flanagan ranks fourth in team history with 1297 strikeouts, and his best season was 1979, when the Orioles went to the World Series. That year, Flanagan went 23-9 with a 3.08 ERA and career high 190 strikeouts and 16 complete games.
Mike Cuellar (1011)—Mike Cuellar played for three teams before landing in Baltimore, where he played from 1969 to 1976, and had his best seasons in an Orioles uniform. Cuellar won more than 20 games four times and ranks fifth in the team’s history with 1011 strikeouts. 1970 was probably his best overall season, when Cuellar went 24-8 with a 3.48 earned run average and 190 K’s.
Milt Pappas (944)—Journeyman Milt Pappas pitched 17 seasons, the first nine of those in Baltimore from 1957 to 1965. Pappas ranks sixth in Orioles’ history with 944 strikeouts, and his best overall season was 1964, when he went 16-7 with a 2.97 ERA and career best 157 strikeouts.
Steve Barber (918)—Steve Barber pitched in Baltimore from 1960 to 1967 and ranks seventh in franchise history with 918 strikeouts. He had his best season in 1963, with a 20-13 record (career high in wins), 2.75 earned run average and career best 180 strikeouts.
Scott McGregor (904)—Scott McGregor pitched for the Orioles his entire career, from 1976 to 1988, and ranks eighth in the team’s history with 904 strikeouts. McGregor only struck out more than 100 batters once, however, with 119 in 1980. That was also his best overall season, as McGregor went 20-8 with a 3.32 ERA.
Jack Powell (884)—Jack Powell pitched for this franchise when it was known as the St. Louis Browns, in 1902 and 1903 and again from 1905 to 1912. Powell ranks ninth in franchise history with 884 K’s, and his career high with the Browns was 169 set in 1903 despite a 15-19 record that season.
Dennis Martinez (858)—Journeyman Dennis Martinez began his long career (23 seasons) in Baltimore, where he played from 1976 to 1986, and he ranks tenth in team history with 858 strikeouts. Martinez never struck out more than 156 in a season, and his career high with Baltimore was 142, set in 1978, when he went 16-11 with a 3.52 earned run average.