Atlanta Braves rookie starting pitcher Spencer Strider continued to improve his case for National League Rookie of the Year Thursday night, setting a new Braves franchise record.
Strider struck out 16 in eight innings, allowing just two hits and no walks on 106 pitches.
Strider’s 16 strikeouts on Thursday are a new franchise single-season record. The previous mark was held by Hall of Famer John Smoltz, who recorded 15 strikeouts in an April 2005 game against the Montreal Expos.
It was only the 17th start of Strider’s career and his first time in the eighth inning.
“We had a good game plan,” strider said. “Travis called a phenomenal game. We were on the same page the whole time. We kept seeing the same things. It was really easy to switch from hitter to hitter, and we won.”
Strider has a very solid record for National League Rookie of the Year. Over 114.2 innings pitched, he has a 2.67 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 0.179 batting average.
His biggest competition for the award will come from teammate center Michael Harris.
Harris made his first major league appearance in 2022 and cut .298 / .344 / .867 with 14 homers, 46 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 85 games, while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at center, with five defensive runs Checked in.
The tight race between the Braves rookies could be a photo-finish on the wire.
With their victory Thursday night, the Braves improve their record to 81-51, still three games behind the New York Mets in the National League East.
The Braves open a three-game series against the Marlins at Truist Park on Friday.