Posted: 4:38 pm Thursday, March 13th, 2014
By David O'Brien
JUPITER, Fla. – Braves hitters have set a franchise record for strikeouts for three consecutive seasons, and if spring training is any indication they could make it four in a row.
St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn struck out 10 Braves in four innings Thursday, including each of the last eight he faced during a 11-0 Cardinals win at Roger Dean Stadium. Braves hitters have struck out 138 times in 19 games, the most strikeouts in the Grapefruit League and second-most in the majors behind the Diamondbacks (148 before Thursday).
The Braves and Mets tied for the National League lead with 1,384 strikeouts in 2013, which partly explained how the Braves could the league in homers (181) and rank second in walks (542), but rank fourth in runs (688) with almost 100 fewer than the Cardinals (783).
The Cardinals struck out 274 fewer times than the Braves, and hit a majors-leading .330 with runners in scoring position compared to the Braves’ .251 (seventh in the NL).
Lynn allowed one hit and no walks in four innings. He struck out Andrelton Simmons and Todd Cunningham to end the second, then struck out the side in the next two innings, including B.J. Upton and Tommy La Stella each for the second time. He was the first Cardinals pitcher in at least 20 years to strike out 10 batters in a spring training game.