About Me

I am a long time baseball fan who became interesting in documenting the "missing" batter strikeouts a few years back as an outgrowth of my interest in the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. Grew up w/ the Big Red Machine. I now follow them and my new hometown, Detroit Tigers. Member of SABR off and on since 1979.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Players w/ 4 or more strikeouts in a game

This morning I was going through the 1910 Chicago Tribune and ran across a rarity, so to say, a 5 strikeout game.  This one belonged to Donie Bush, who struck out 5 times in a 15 inning game on May 1, 1910 in Chicago.  Ed Walsh struck out 13 batters that day (Cobb twice) as he went the distance to win 4-3.

This reminded me that in my research, I have only run across a 5 strikeout game five other times.

They are:

1. Bill Damman, Cin (P), September 21, 1898; at Washington, 9 inn; Win Mercer (2), Jack Sutthoff (3); Washington Post

2. Pete Dowling, Lou (P), August 15, 1899 - vs. NY, 9 inn; Ed Doheny (5);  New York Times
(Louisville Courier Journal lists only 2 k's for Doheny, while NYT lists 8 - both papers have C Warner w/ 9 PO's).

3. Bill Bernhard, Cle (P), August 11, 1904 - vs. Phil, 13 inn; Rube Waddell (5); Cleveland Leader

4. George Winter, Bos(A) (P), September 5, 1905 - vs.Phil, 13 inn; Rube Waddell (5); Boston Globe

5.  Slim Sallee, St.L (N) (P), July 21, 1908 (game 1), vs. NY, 12 inn; Christy Mathewson (5); New York Evening World

As you will quickly notice, Bush's 5 k outing was the 1st I have encountered by a position player.  Granted it was in a 15 inning game, but still a dubious distinction.

There have been over 100 occurrences of a batter striking out 4 times that I have turned up.   12 players have done it twice (no one has done it more than that).

The most interesting of these has to be Ed Cermak, who struck out 4 times on September 9, 1901.  These would be Mr. Cermak's ONLY 4 At-Bats in the majors. 

Not sure what the record is for the most at-bats with all strikeouts is.  If anyone knows, please let me know.

Also, you may notice a name that appears twice as the author of the 5 strikeouts games, Rube Waddell.

I will have more on him in an upcoming post - a breakdown of his 1903 and 1904 seasons, by batter.


  1. Looks like the record is six by Kane Davis and Justin Duchscherer. Scott Ruffcorn also had six in six AB but had two other PA, a walk and a sacrifice.

    Ken Schmidt

  2. Thanks, Ken. Wonder who holds it for non-pitchers?

  3. The most by a non-pitcher I could find is four by Gene Ratliff, but my source is based on Baseball Databank or Lahman, which is missing batter strikeouts for several years. So Ed Cermak doesn't show up in the list.


  4. Any idea if the same batter has struck out three times in a single inning, and therefore accounting for all three outs in that one inning?

  5. Not sure. Retrosheet may have a way of finding the info - post in their Yahoo group. Sorry I cannot be more help.


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