Mets History

Mets record for most strikeouts by a pitcher in a season

Tom Seaver
Tom Seaver / Photo File/GettyImages
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There are a lot of New York Mets records held by Tom Seaver. There’s no argument about where he stands in franchise history. Seaver is the GOAT of blue and orange.

Among his illustrious achievements, Seaver became the single-season strikeout king for the franchise multiple times. His high of 289 Ks in 1971 topped his previous single-season mark of 283 set only one year prior.

Although a couple of Mets pitchers have come close to matching his total, Seaver remains the single-season strikeout king.

The rest of the top 10 Mets pitchers in strikeouts

The top 10 of many Mets pitching records features some of the usual names—Seaver included. He has the first, second, seventh, eighth, and ninth most strikeouts in a single season. He’s the only Mets pitcher to have three 250+ strikeout seasons.

Their top 10 list does include a pair of two-timers. Dwight Gooden’s 276 strikeouts in 1984 ranks third. The 268 Ks he mustered up in 1985 ranks fifth. Behind each of those, we find Jacob deGrom. In 2018, he struck out 269 batters for the most recent challenge toward the Mets record. In 2019, he fanned 255 more—the sixth-place spot on the list.

Narrowly making the top 10 with 241 strikeouts in 1991, we have David Cone. Cone’s final full season with the team before getting traded the final summer set a new personal-high for himself with the Mets. The following year, however, he would combine to strike out 261 batters as a member of the Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.

A single-season strikeout record for a pitcher is hardly safe in today’s MLB world. Gooden came close in the 1980s. deGrom, far more recently, took a run at it.

What’s holding back modern pitchers from passing Seaver are the number of innings pitched. While the K/9 totals will far beat out Seaver, the grand total is a little too great for most to reach.

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