After fanning six batters in Sunday's 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, ESPN Stats & Info noted that Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds became the third pitcher in franchise history to log 200 or more strikeouts prior to September's arrival.
The Reds right-hander joins both Jim Maloney and Mario Soto as the trio of players to have accomplished this feat.
Maloney fanned exactly 200 batters at the conclusion of August in the 1963 season, finishing the year with a total of 265 punch-outs. He recorded double-digit strikeout performances in four of his six September starts on his way to an impressive finish.
Soto retired 200-plus batters on strikes before the start of September in both the 1982 and 1983 seasons, recording a career-best 274 punch-outs in his 1982 campaign. That season led to his first of three straight All-Star Game appearances, and the right-hander went on to strike out 1,449 batters over 12 major league seasons.
Cueto has already shattered his career-high strikeout number of 170, which was set back in the 2012 campaign. According to FanGraphs, he's averaging 8.91 strikeouts per nine innings this season, which represents the best mark he's posted in any MLB season.
The 28-year-old righty leads the Reds in both wins (16) and ERA (2.26), and has overall been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season in Cincinnati.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise specified.
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