Heading into the final games of the pandemic-shortened regular season, Milwaukee Brewers right-handed relief pitcher Devin Williams is chasing history and producing arguably the greatest year ever seen from any reliever.
Across 21 games and 25.0 innings pitched, the 26-year-old posted an incredible 0.36 ERA (one earned run) and 0.60 WHIP with 52 strikeouts. Williams surrendered his only run of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates back on July 27. Outlets such as Baseball America and Sporting News have him listed as a favorite to win National League Rookie of the Year, and it's easy to understand why.
Per FanGraphs, Williams is on pace to shatter the record for strikeout-to-hit ratio among eligible pitchers with at least 50 strikeouts.
Before Thursday's outing versus the St. Louis Cardinals, opposing batters went hitless in 17 consecutive at-bats against Williams. Williams tossed 22.2 consecutive innings over 19 appearances without allowing a single run. He held opponents hitless over 31 straight at-bats from Aug. 11 through Sept. 11 until Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs hit a two-out triple on 9/11.
As JR Radcliffe wrote for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Williams' 18.72 strikeouts per nine innings would, if the season ended today, be the most for any pitcher in history who tossed at least 10 innings in a season. He's striking out a ridiculous 55.3% of the batters he faces, which has him on pace to set a new all-time record in that category.
His 0.60 WHIP would be a Brewers record if he maintains it through the completion of the regular season on Sunday, as would his opponent's batting average of .071.