Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman is on the cusp of setting a unique and impressive team record that many fans may not know about.
In the second year of a five-year, $110 contract, the right-hander had pitched five games when he had at least ten strikeouts without recording a walk.
His most recent "10/0" performance occurred on June 6th against the defending World Series champions, Houston Astros. Gausman struck out a season-high-tying 13 hitters.
That puts him just two off the team record for such games, held by Roger Clemens, who won the American League Cy Young award in 1997 and 1998, his only years with the club.
Striking out batters at breakneck speed while being stingy on issuing free passes has been Gausman’s calling card since coming to Toronto. He didn’t walk any batters in his first five starts last season and finished the season with 205 K’s (fifth in the AL) and just 28 bases on balls.
The 32-year-old has been even more dominant this season and leads the AL with 117 punchouts and has walked only 22.
Looking through his game logs, it seems only a matter of time before the LSU product is the franchise leader in a double-digit strikeout, zero-walk games. He had 11 strikeouts with no walks in his third and fifth starts. He just missed on April 29th, when he recorded 13 Ks with one free pass, and on May 10th, he retired nine Phillies via strikeout without walking a batter.
Sunday’s start against the Minnesota Twins wasn’t a typical showing; six earned runs allowed in less than five innings of work, but most of that damage came in the first. It’s the second year in a row that Gausman has looked off-balance at home facing that opponent, and the broadcast suggested that some of the reason could be attributed to pitch-tipping.
With five 10+ strikeouts and zero walk games in his first 45 games as a Blue Jays pitcher, how quickly Gausman can get to the top of this leaderboard will be an exciting storyline to track. Clemen compiled his record over 67 starts; at the rate we’ve seen these gems from Gausman, tying or even breaking this record is well within reach this season.