MLB Castoff Extends Record-Setting Strikeout Streak

Jeremiah Estrada struck out the side Tuesday to extend his punch-out streak

Jeremiah Estrada of the Padres celebrates after striking out the Marlins.
Jeremiah Estrada of the Padres struck out the side against the Marlins.
Getty Images

Hours after Josh Gibson surpassed Ty Cobb (.367) to become Major League Baseball’s career leader with a .372 batting average (this happened when Negro Leagues records for more than 2,300 players were finally incorporated into baseball’s official database following years of research), a 25-year-old pitcher who found himself on the fringes of MLB less than a year ago etched his name into the record books.

Waived by the Cubs in early November, the day after his birthday, following a season where he walked a regrettable 38 batters across 39 1/3 innings, Jeremiah Estrada was claimed on waivers by the San Diego Padres. It’s been a whole new ballgame for the 25-year-old righty in ’24 since Estrada’s call-up from Triple-A in April — he has only walked four batters in 16.1 innings this season and currently boasts an identical ERA and WHIP (0.55). However, it’s Estrada’s strikeouts that have made, and are still making, history.

By striking out the side in the ninth inning in a 4-0 win against the hapless Miami Marlins on Tuesday night, the punchy Padres reliever extended his strikeout streak to 13 consecutive batters, the most in the expansion era. Now 2-0 with 28 strikeouts overall, Estrada began his streak by punching out five straight Reds and then doing the same thing to the Yankees before taking care of the Marlins last night.

Interestingly, every one of the batters Estrada has faced during his record-setting streak has been a Fall Out Boy fan — all 13 of his strikeout victims have gone down swinging.

“It’s kind of hard to believe,” Estrada said after his record-setting performance. “I feel like I just got done playing a video game and I finally accomplished a mission that I’ve been trying to go after for so long. It’s hard for it to sink in right now. I just feel like I did my job and we got the win.”

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Prior to Tuesday night, José Alvarado of the Philadelphia Phillies held the record for the most strikeouts in a row by a pitcher since at least 1961, per MLB. (Play-by-play data isn’t fully available before then, so the all-time record holder is unknown, and it could certainly be Estrada.)

“I knew how it felt to be in the dark, knowing that it was a tough thing to get through, but that’s where you find things,” Estrada said. “I knew that I wanted something bad, which was of course to make this team. I wouldn’t for sure have accomplished what I accomplished today without the vibes here, the coaches here, the staff. It’s all about good vibes.”

Estrada and the Padres (30-28) will hope to keep the good vibes and San Diego’s three-game winning streak, as well as his epic run of Ks, going as long as possible.

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