For all those thinking that Rangers hitters must be on some sort of historic pace for strikeouts this month, that absolutely is the case.
They could set an American League record for most strikeouts in June at some point during the final two days of the month.
The Houston Astros hold the June record with 278 strikeouts in 2015. Their 2014 team struck out 253 times in June, good for second in AL history.
The Rangers, who struck out 33 times in the first two games of the series at Progressive Field, fanned nine more times Wednesday and now have 260 for the month.
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The two-game total of 33 is a club record, eclipsing the mark of 32 by the 1997 Rangers. The club record for strikeouts in any month was 261 last month, when batters struck out an MLB-record-tying 20 times in a nine-inning game at Boston.
Yet, the Rangers were 13-10 in June entering Wednesday, third-best in the AL, and were third in homers (42) and fifth in runs (127).
“You look at the track record of guys, there are strikeouts, but there is damage also,” Banister said. “There’s a give-and-take in that. I just think that right now we’ve got some young guys in the lineup that have some strikeout in them, and we’ve got some veteran guys that have some strikeout in them, too. But they also have stretches of damage.”
The Rangers scored nine runs Monday while striking out 17 times. The bulk of the Ks came when they were attempting to add to their lead and then come back after the Indians stormed back. They struck out 16 times Tuesday, including three apiece for Delino DeShields, Shin-Soo Choo, Nomar Mazara and Napoli. Joey Gallo, who entered Wednesday as the MLB leader in strikeouts (104), fanned twice.
The hitters don’t like striking out. They realize that sometimes they need to cut down on their swings and put the ball in play, but they also are aware that run-producing contact can come with bigger swings.
“We’re scoring runs,” Napoli said. “There’s a risk-reward. We’re getting the reward.”