Corbin Burnes joined Hall of Famer Tom Seaver and Aaron Nola on Wednesday as the only pitchers to strike out 10 consecutive batters.
He did it with 97 mph cutters and late-breaking sliders, with curveballs and even a changeup. Whatever Milwaukee Brewers starter Corbin Burnes threw, the Chicago Cubs batters had no chance.
Tom Seaver held the record with 10 consecutive strikeouts in a game by himself for 51 years. Aaron Nola of the Phillies tied it on June 25 against, fittingly, Seaver’s old New York Mets. Then, on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, Burnes joined them in the MLB record book.
Burnes struck out the side in the second. He struck out the side in the third and fourth innings, as well. By the time Cubs’ first baseman Frank Schwindel came to the plate to lead off the fifth, Burnes had struck out nine consecutive batters. Three pitches later, he made history after getting Schwindel to swing at a slider that broke down out of the zone.
The streak was finally broken by Matt Duffy’s single to right with one out in the fifth. Burnes needed only 41 pitches to get those 10 outs, 32 of them strikes. All of his strikeouts were swinging, something neither Seaver nor Nola did. He’s currently at 14 strikeouts through seven innings and has allowed only two hits as the Brewers lead the Cubs 8-0.
Burnes, two years after statistically the worst season by a Brewers starting pitcher in franchise history, continues to elevate himself right into Cy Young consideration. He came into Wednesday’s game leading MLB with 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings, a mark that would be the 10th-highest in history.
He wasn’t fazed by Duffy’s hit that snapped his record run. He promptly struck out the next batter, and two more in the sixth to add to his total.