McDowell's control troubles would prevent him from reaching that level, although he did exceed 300 strikeouts again in a 305-inning season with Cleveland in 1970. Johnson's fastball was genuinely exceptional when he arrived on the scene late in 1907, and he exploited it for years. His record of 308 strikeouts that season remains intact to this day.
One aspect of Johnson's career that isn't fully appreciated is his role as a pitch-counter. He never threw more than 10 innings in any game he played in, so much of his output came from throwing nearly constant pressure pitches for hundreds of minutes at a time. This is why we see such long streaks of one-hitters or no-hitters throughout his career; if the batter could touch the ball without being hit out, then Johnson would throw him another strike until he couldn't take it anymore.
Another reason why his record has stood for so long is because he had two very similar seasons where he struck out almost exactly 300 batters. The first one occurred in 1907 when the league expanded to include New York City and Chicago, and the second one came five years later when the American League adopted the "American League" logo. In both cases, many of the same teams were involved (the Cubs, White Sox, Indians), which means that they were likely using an anti-Johnson strategy by not walking anyone.
Over a 22-year career in which he also pitched for the Astros, Yankees, and Giants (with whom he won his 300th game in 2009), Johnson led his league in ERA four times and strikeouts nine times, including 2001, when he came close to breaking Ryan's record of 383 strikeouts by striking out 372 batters. In 2015, Johnson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Young and Johnson are the only players with 400 or more victories. Warren Spahn has the most victories (363) among pitchers who spent their whole careers in the post-1920 live-ball era.
It's been a while, with the previous two 300-strikeout seasons coming in 2002 from teammates Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, who struck out 650 hitters in total last year, or five more than all 12 Twins starting pitchers combined. The last 300-strikeout pitcher was 13 years ago, when two pitchers achieved it in the same season.
Verlander and Cole became only the second set of teammates to accomplish 300 strikeouts in the same season, joining Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002. Here is a list of the hurlers who have achieved the feat.
Each season, Major League Baseball honors the player or players in each league who have the most strikeouts. In the National League's first season, Jim Devlin led the league with 122 strikeouts for the Louisville Grays.
In 2008, A.J. Burnett earned the American League strikeout championship. In 2009, Justin Verlander topped the American League in both wins and innings pitched. Matt Kilroy's 513 strikeouts in 1886 were the most by a pitcher in a single season in the contemporary recognized major leagues.
Randy Johnson, who ranks second all-time in strikeouts, is one of only three left-handed pitchers in MLB history with 3,000 strikeouts. The other two are Johnson's teammate Greg Maddux and Jerome Williams (also left-handed).
In addition to having more than 3,000 strikes against him, Randy Johnson was also the highest-paid player in baseball during his time with the Milwaukee Brewers. He made $20 million per season and was never below.500 as a Brewer. After leaving Milwaukee after 2001, Johnson signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a free agent and finished his career there in 2011.
Randy Johnson has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. The announcement was made on November 6, 2012. He is the first member of the Brewers to be voted into the Hall of Fame.
Johnson was born on January 4, 1963 in West Palm Beach, Florida. He grew up in San Clemente, California and attended La Jolla High School before graduating from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The right-hander began his major league career with the Brewers in 1989 at the age of 21. He went 46-40 over the next seven seasons with Milwaukee and became a stalwart in their pitching rotation.
Each season, Major League Baseball honors the player or players in each league who have the most strikeouts. In the National League's first season, Jim Devlin led the league with 122 strikeouts for the Louisville Grays. In the American League's first season, John McGraw of the New York Giants led the league with 107 strikeouts. The record has been broken several times since then.
The modern era of baseball began in 1876 when the National League debuted with eight teams. During this time frame, John McGraw of the New York Giants led the league with 215 strikeouts. Al López of the Cleveland Indians finished second with 212 strikes out. Other high-profile strikeout pitchers during this period include Rube Waddell, George Bradley, and Jack Chesbro.
In 1901, Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators broke McGraw's record with his 213th strike out against the Chicago Cubs. That same year, Joe Bushard of the Brooklyn Dodgers struck out 216 batters in 266 innings played. It should be noted that many more men than just these two pitched during this period of time. Between the three major leagues, there were over 10,000 pitches thrown by over 5,000 different pitchers between 1876 and 1916. This is why no pitcher has ever held the record for most career strikeouts.