Roger Clemens is responsible for two of the four 20 strikeout performances in MLB history, but isn't the record in all of baseball history. (Image Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Starting Lineup: Typical Los Angeles Problems, Curtis Granderson's Return

The modern MLB record for strikeouts in a nine inning game stands at twenty. Roger Clemens was the first to accomplish the achievement, striking out twenty Seattle Mariners in 1986 while with the Boston Red Sox. He’d match his own mark ten years later, versus the Detroit Tigers. Clemens is responsible for two of the four instances in which this record has happened.

Kerry Wood became the first to tie Clemens, mowing down 20 Houston Astros in 1998. Randy Johnson would also match the feat in 2001, though he doesn’t quite get the same attention for it considering the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds went into extra innings that day. Johnson would only pitch the first nine innings of the game, before the bullpen took over for the final two.

Oddly the 20 strikeout game isn’t the record for all of professional baseball, as amazingly enough, Ron Necciai struck out 27 batters in a nine inning game on this day in 1952.

Necciai was pitching in the Appalachian League, for the Bristol Twins, when he accomplished the achievement. He’d throw a no-hitter that day against the Welch Miners, allowing just a handful of balls being put into play. Necciai had “just” 25 strikeouts heading into the 9th inning. With two outs in the inning his catcher, Harry Dunlop, dropped the third strike and allowed the runner to reach base. That brought one more batter to the plate, whom Necciai struck out for #27 on the day.

He’d strike out 24 in his next outting and would work his way up to join the Pittsburgh Pirates before the season ended. Necciai would go 1-6 with a 7.08 ERA over 54.2 IP with the Pirates, striking out 31 while walking 32. He’d tear his rotator cuff and be forced to retire less than a year after his historic performance.

And now, for some of the original work from around FSMLB this past week.

An offseason of spending prior to the 2012 season placed the Los Angeles Angels among the favorites to win the World Series. Things didn’t work out as planned last season, so the team spent big again this past winter. Yet, after a dreadful start to the 2013 season there’s a segment of the fanbase that sees the writing on the wall and is already looking to make some changes. It’s kind of the same thing that happened to the Los Angeles Lakers, as Mark Smith of Halo Hangout discussed. The organization spends big to bring in the big name veterans – the Angels signing Josh Hamilton this past winter, following the Lakers bringing aboard Steve Nash and Dwight Howard – but the results aren’t matching the expectations. More from Mark:

You would think that a lineup littered with offensive talent (i.e. Trout, Trumbo, Hamilton and Pujols) would be able to put up enough runs to offset the deficiencies of a thin pitching staff.  At least that’s what DiPoto thought – and I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t think his strategy might actually work.  Granted, 34 games may not be a large enough sample size, but it’s safe to say that we don’t like what we’ve seen thus far.  The pitching has been mediocre at best and the offensive production has been incredibly anemic at times.

Meanwhile, the team most-notorious for their “big spending ways”, the New York Yankees, have managed to climb atop the AL East despite having a sizeable portion of their payroll on the disabled list for much of the season to date. There’s positive news coming, however, as the Yankees are close to getting Curtis Granderson back in the lineup. While the role players that the team brought in have filled in admirably, someone will still need to go in order to make room for the team’s starting center fielder to return and Hunter Farman at Yanks Go Yard went over some of the options.

Granderson’s return to the Yankees will certainly be a welcome one as he provides both offense and defense to the team. It is also reported that Grandy will even play the corner outfield positions when he comes back, and not just centerfield. This allows the Yankees to keep Brett Gardner, who is the much better fielder, in the position that requires a very speedy, defensive player. What the Yankees do when Granderson comes back will be interesting as they have a few options, but when he does return, it will ultimately be for the better.

Tags: Los Angeles Angels New York Yankees Ron Necciai

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