Outside of the home run, the strikeout is the singular moment in a game that elicits raw emotion. It's why Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez are etched in baseball lore. The ability to blow a 100-mph heater past a hitter or drop in a knee-buckling breaking ball resonates
Outside of the home run, the strikeout is the singular moment in a game that elicits raw emotion. It's why Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez are etched in baseball lore. The ability to blow a 100-mph heater past a hitter or drop in a knee-buckling breaking ball resonates a lot more than a routine grounder to third base.
Punching out a batter isn't as easy as it looks, which makes what these four pitchers did all the more remarkable.
Here are four of the most whiff-tastic outings of 2019 that you can watch during the MiLB.TV free preview. Head over to Twitter to vote on which one will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook this Thursday!
Garcia brings the Thunder
The strikeout is anything but a foreign concept to Deivi Garcia. The third-ranked Yankees prospect has racked up 416 K's over 293 2/3 innings in his Minor League career, an average of 12.7 whiffs per nine innings. But even that statistic paled in comparison to what he accomplished last June 18. Garcia had everything working for Double-A Trenton when he recorded a career-high 15 strikeouts over six one-hit innings against Richmond. The slightly built hurler fanned eight straight batters to begin the game and 11 of the first 12. It provided a relaxing evening for Garcia's Thunder teammates, who combined for three putouts among the 21 batters that came to the plate during his six frames. Full story | Highlight: Garcia fans 15th batter | Watch game
Crismatt walks down an immaculate path
Somehow Nabil Crismatt found a way to overshadow a career-high 14 strikeouts last July 10. The Double-A Arkansas right-hander pitched one of the most dominant games of the Minor League season, yielding two hits in a nine-inning shutout of Northwest Arkansas. The then-24-year-old notched a strikeout in every inning but two and fanned the side twice -- including an immaculate frame in the top of the second. Three Naturals stepped to the plate -- Emmanuel Rivera, Meibrys Viloria and Taylor Featherston -- and all three saw three pitches before walking back to the dugout. "I was like, I have my curveball tonight when I want it for a strike and I said I'm not going to miss this," Crismatt said. "I'm going to strike out this guy with my curveball right here. I'm not going to mess around." Full story | Highlight: Crismatt spins immaculate inning | Watch game
A debut to remember
It didn't take Shelton Perkins long to make a name for himself. In fact, it took all of six batters, none of whom put the ball in play. The Orioles' 16th-round pick in last year's Draft jogged in from the bullpen for his professional debut for Class A Short Season Aberdeen on June 27. He admitted he was nervous: "For sure, there were nerves," he said. "You don't really know until you get here." The right-hander out of James Madison University learned quickly he belonged. Throwing 19 of 26 pitches for strikes, Perkins whiffed all six batters he faced. He finished with 23 K's over 17 2/3 innings for the IronBirds. The North Carolina native did not register more than three strikeouts in any of his remaining 14 relief appearances. Full story | Highlight: Perkins fans sixth in a row | Watch game
Cabrera floats on cloud nine
Nine seems to be a lucky number for Génesis Cabrera. The No. 9 Cardinals prospect put an exclamation point on his season by striking out 12 -- including nine in a row bridging the third and sixth innings -- over seven scoreless frames in his final outing of 2019 for Triple-A Memphis. The stretch equaled the team and Pacific Coast League records while matching his personal best set one year earlier. The electric outing ended an up-and-down campaign for the southpaw, who made his Major League debut on May 29 and also made two postseason appearances for St. Louis. Full story | Highlight: Cabrera K's nine straight | Watch game
Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB.