Originally posted on The Cardinal Nation blog  |  Last updated 5/4/12

On Thursday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals failed to sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium. 17 times during the 6-3 loss, a St. Louis hitter was sat down on strikes. Despite pitching just five innings, Bucs starter Erik Bedard collected 11 of the Ks, including a Pittsburgh-record seven in a row.

The 17 strikeouts is just one off the Cardinals’ worst nine-inning showing ever in this category. On September 10, 1989, 18 Cardinals were fanned by Chicago Cubs pitching in a 4-1, nine-inning loss at Wrigley Field. (link to boxscore)

Researcher Tom Orf pulled the following table, which indicates the Cardinals had just two 16-strikeout nine-inning games prior to Thursday. It was their 30th game of at least 14 strikeouts.

Strikeouts in a nine-inning game, St. Louis Cardinals hitters, history

Date Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO 9/10/1989 CHC L 1-4 35 32 1 7 0 0 0 1 3 18 5/3/2012 PIT L 3-4 41 34 3 7 4 0 0 3 7 17 9/29/2000 CIN L 1-8 36 30 1 2 0 1 0 0 5 16 8/20/1997 MON W 6-3 44 35 6 8 2 0 1 6 7 16 4/22/2001 HOU L 3-4 34 32 3 6 1 0 2 3 2 15 9/12/1998 HOU L 2-3 35 32 2 5 1 0 0 2 3 15 5/13/1997 PHI L 2-3 32 28 2 3 1 0 2 2 3 15 5/21/1996 HOU W 8-2 42 40 8 13 3 0 0 7 1 15 6/25/1966 HOU L 2-3 35 32 2 7 2 0 0 1 3 15 9/1/2011 MIL W 8-4 38 37 8 10 1 0 4 8 1 14 4/13/2008 SFG L 4-7 42 37 4 12 4 0 1 4 4 14 9/26/2004 COL W 9-3 45 40 9 16 2 0 1 8 3 14 7/18/2001 HOU L 11-17 47 44 11 18 5 0 2 11 2 14 8/27/1999 ATL L 1-2 35 35 1 8 1 0 0 1 0 14 6/25/1999 ARI W 1-0 32 29 1 5 3 0 0 1 2 14 4/26/1998 PHI L 3-9 36 34 3 8 0 1 1 2 2 14 9/27/1995 CHC L 3-5 41 37 3 10 1 0 1 3 3 14 9/25/1988 NYM L 7-9 40 37 7 10 2 0 1 7 2 14 8/22/1984 CIN W 6-3 37 35 6 7 0 0 2 6 2 14 6/24/1984 CHC L 0-5 33 31 0 5 0 0 0 0 1 14 5/21/1984 HOU L 2-3 37 32 2 6 0 0 0 2 5 14 9/23/1983 PHI L 2-6 36 34 2 8 0 1 1 2 1 14 9/21/1982 PHI L 2-5 38 35 2 9 2 0 0 2 2 14 4/19/1980 PIT W 2-1 41 34 2 7 0 0 1 2 5 14 6/9/1978 HOU L 7-11 43 35 7 9 1 1 1 7 7 14 9/9/1977 PHI L 4-11 33 31 4 6 2 0 3 4 2 14 8/31/1971 NYM W 2-1 32 30 2 7 0 0 0 2 2 14 5/20/1966 CIN L 3-5 37 34 3 7 0 0 0 3 1 14 5/31/1959 LAD L 3-5 39 33 3 6 0 0 2 3 6 14 9/6/1941 CIN L 0-2 32 29 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 14

Note the big bulge in the 1980s and 1990s of such games.

Decade # 1940s 1 1950s 1 1960s 2 1970s 3 1980s 8 1990s 8 2000s 5 2010s 2

The Cardinals have nothing to be ashamed of or be worried about. Bedard’s career best game was even better – 15 strikeouts. Further, even after the bad day, the Cardinals still only rank fourth in the National League in strikeouts.

Even more importantly, the 2012 Cards are first in the NL in runs scored at 138, with only one club within 20 runs of their total. Further, their league-best batting average of .286 is 20 points higher than the second-place club.

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