ANAHEIM -- While the Mariners tied a Major League record with 20 strikeouts in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Angels and aren't far off last year's pace when they set a franchise record for the whiffs in a season, Seattle isn't alone in the swing-and-miss world this season.
After Tuesday's troubles, the Mariners had 1,203 strikeouts through 154 games, which put them on pace for 1,265 if they maintain their current average of 7.8 per game. That would be just short of last year's club-record 1,280.
But strikeout numbers across baseball have been climbing in recent years and are at a record pace this year. Consequently, while Seattle's 1,280 strikeouts last year were the most in the American League and fourth out of the 30 Major League teams, this year the Mariners are 10th out of the 14 AL squads and 21st in MLB even though they're on a pretty similar pace.
Mariners pitchers are following the trend. They struck out 1,100 batters through 154 games, which already ranks as the third most in franchise history. The club record for strikeouts by Seattle pitchers is 1,207 set in 1997.
Mariners pitchers need to strike out just 56 more batters to equal the second-highest franchise total of 1,156 set in 1998, which would mean averaging seven per game over the final eight contests starting Wednesday night.