When Joaquin Benoit struck out the Twins in order in the ninth inning on Tuesday night, the Tiger pitching staff had broken the American League's all time strikeout record with 1384 strikeouts in a single season. The Tampa Bay Rays held the previous mark, set just last year, at 1383.
The major league record of 1404 strikeouts is held by the 2003 Chicago Cubs. The Tigers are just 20 strikeouts shy of that mark with four games to play.
In fact, four teams, including the Tigers, broke the old American league record in 2012. The Tigers finished second in 2012, and second all time behind the Rays with 1318 K's. The 2013 Tigers broke that club record recently.
The Tigers have three pitchers ranked among the top six in the league in strikeouts. Max Scherzer is second, Justin Verlander fifth, and Anibal Sanchez sixth. Both Scherzer and Verlander have gone over the 200 K mark, while Sanchez is six shy of the mark at 194. Detroit is well ahead of the second ranked Indians, who have 1315 K's for the season.
Breaking the major league record would be quite an accomplishment, considering the fact that the Tigers play in a league where pitchers don't bat, and they have to face a designated hitter every ninth batter.
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