In 2007 Ryan Howard set the MLB single season strikeout record with 199 strikeouts. After just 82 games in 2008, Howard already has 113 strikeouts and is on pace to exceed the record he set last year. If my arithmetic is correct, at his current clip he could end up with a whopping 223 strikeouts at the end of the 2008 season.
What’s fascinating is how consistent Howard is in striking out. He has 55 strikeouts playing at home and 58 playing away. He had 38 in March, 40 in May, and 35 so far in June. And he has 57 vs righties and 56 vs lefties. He’s also more likely to strikeout than to get a hit or get on base. For example, his batting average is a measly .215, his OBP is only .311, but his strikeout average is .368.
Wouldn’t you expect the strikeout king to be concerned? Ryan Howard recently said, “It’s basically the same thing as making a groundout. It’s an out, you know? You want to make as much contact and put the ball in play as much as possible, but it’s part of the game.”