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Andrew Miller is striking batters out at the most fantastic rate ever seen

Some context for just how incredible Andrew Miller has been this postseason...

MLB: ALCS-Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays
The man enjoys giving a good pat on the butt. * PHOTO
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

As you're probably aware, Andrew Miller has been incredible for the Cleveland Indians so far in the postseason. He's pitched nine innings, hasn't given up any runs, and has struck out 20 batters. For those of you acquainted with famous baseball records, Miller's 20 strikeouts in nine innings may feel familiar, as that matches the MLB record for a single none-inning game, a mark shared by Roger Clemens, Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson, and  Max Scherzer . This is not to say that striking out 20 over nine innings spread across five different games is quite as impressive as doing it in a single game, but it's another way of recognizing just how good Miller has been, especially since only Wood also allowed no runs and three or fewer hits in his 20K game.

Single-postseason strikeout leaders (in relief innings):

  • 1) Francisco Rodriguez (2002 Angels): 28
  • 2) Kelvin Herrera (2015 Royals): 22
  • t3) Brad Lidge (2004 Astros): 20
  • t3) Wade Davis (2014 Royals): 20
  • t3) Andrew Miller (2016 Indians): 20
  • 6) Keith Foulke (2004 Red Sox): 19
  • t7) Jesse Barnes (1921 Giants): 18
  • t7) John Rocker (1999 Braves): 18
  • t7) Brad Lidge (2005 Astros): 18
  • t7) Trevor Rosenthal (2013 Cardinals): 18
  • t7) Wade Davis (2015 Royals): 18

The Indians will play at least four more games this postseason, so unless something changes pretty drastically, Miller is going to pitch at least another three or four innings, so it's hard to believe he'll be any lower than second on this list by the time the postseason ends, and he seems a pretty good bet to break the record.

Miller's nine innings leave him well shy of the number everyone else on that list. Rodriguez pitched 18.2 innings in 2002 when he set the record. Miller has struck out 20 batters in 9 innings, which makes for a very easy to figure out K/9 rate of 20.0. The single-postseason record for pitchers with 9+ innings pitcher is 15.2 K/9, by Wade Davis last year. Miller would have to pitch three full innings without striking anyone out to fall below that figure. Things get ore impressive yet when you look the strikeouts as a percentage of batters faced, which is really the better way of looking at it, because it rewards pitchers who didn't give up walks or hits between those outs. In 2015, Davis' 18 strikeouts came from a total of 39 batters faced, meaning he had a strikeout rate of 46.2%, which is fantastic. Miller's 20 strikeouts have come from a total of just 33 batters faced, giving him a strikeout rate of 60.6%, which is otherworldly.

There's nothing like that in postseason history, so I decided to look at the regular season, and to get something comparable to what Miller has done so far in October, I looked at individual calendar months during the regular season, and set the minimum for innings pitched at nine, to math Miller's current total.

Single calendar month leaders for highest K% (min. 9 IP):

  • 1) Craig Kimbrel (August 2012): 63.6%
  • 2) Kenley Jansen (September 2011): 61.5%
  • 3) Byung-Hyun Kim (May 2000): 60.0%
  • 4) Aroldis Chapman (July 2012): 59.6%
  • 5) Kenley Jansen (August 2016): 59.5%
  • 6) Aroldis Chapman (July 2014): 59.5%
  • 7) Brian Fuentes (July 2008): 59.4%
  • 8) Juan Cruz (September 2007): 57.6%
  • 9) Kenley Jansen (August 2013): 57.1%
  • 10) Aroldis Chapman (September 2013): 56.4%


Andrew Miller has been awesome.