Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and outfielder Marlon Byrd are the first teammates in MLB history to each strike out 180 or more times in a season, per Lee Sinins of Complete Baseball Encyclopedia.
Following Thursday's game against the Florida Marlins, Howard has an MLB-high 188 strikeouts, while Byrd is tied for second place in the National League at 181 with Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond.
In the American League, only MVP front-runner Mike Trout (181) and Houston Astros first baseman Chris Carter (179) figure to reach 180, though Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (173) was well on his way before getting suspended for amphetamine use.
For Howard, the lofty strikeout total comes as no surprise, with this season marking the fifth time he's piled up 180 or more in one season. Previously, Howard had 180-plus strikeouts in four consecutive seasons from 2006 to 2009, a span that also qualifies as the peak of his now-disappointing career.
In Byrd's case, the strikeouts come as more of a surprise, as he had previously never topped 144, the total he posted last year. The outfielder's late-career renaissance has not been hampered by his increased proclivity for the punch-out, as Byrd has more than made up for the lack of contact by posting the two best homer totals of his career in the last two seasons.
Prior to 2013, Byrd never had more than 98 strikeouts or 20 home runs in one season. He then had 144 and 24 last year, only to top both marks in 2014. In addition to his 181 strikeouts, Byrd has 25 home runs heading into the final three games of the season.