Banterites continue to marvel/giggle from afar at the plight of Big Papi, who has continued his slide from feared slugger to possibly benched DH by K’ing 12 times in his first 25 plate appearances (23 ABs) this season.
It brings to mind the Yanks’ history of famed, and in some case surprising, whiffers.
Mike Pagliraulo, who struck out once every 5.5 plate appearances in his career, holds the franchise record for most consecutive game starts from the beginning of the season with at least one K, with 9 in 1988. Ortiz’s worst such streak was the first four games of 1999, when he was still with the Twins.
None other than Alex Rodriguez has the team record for most consecutive starts with at least one strikeout, with 15 in July/August of 2005. Despite this, A-Rod DID hit .276/.377/.603 during the streak, with 6 homers and 12 ribbies. Ortiz compiled a ten-game streak during 2006. If you are wondering, Mickey Mantle’s longest such streak was 11 in 1952. Reggie Jackson had a 17-game streak in ’82, but he was already with the Angels by then.
Big Papi has K’ed at least twice in his last five starts. Six different Yankees have compiled streaks of five straight two-K starts, most recently Tony Clark in 2004.
Ortiz’s high-water mark in terms of season’s strikeouts was last year’s 134, when he put up a line of .238/.332/.462. He also struck out 133 times in 2004, but that year he hit .301/.380/.603. Alfonso Soriano holds the Yankee season strikeout record with 157 in 2002.