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It was a sign of things to come for Nolan Ryan, but in many ways, it was also a pinnacle. The shutout was the first of 61 he would throw in a career that spanned four decades, making Nolan one of only 29 players in MLB history to accomplish that feat. Assume two strikeouts of Medich. In 1972, Peterson batted .232 (19 for 82 with 14 strikeouts) but did not face Ryan. To be sure, Ryan encountered some missteps along the way, such as his May 11 start at home against the White Sox in which he failed to survive the first inning, and a rare but disastrous relief outing against the Yankees on August 14, when he yielded three straight hits, threw a wild pitch, and walked a batter before at last getting the final out of the eighth inning of a 7–2 loss. He pitched against Ryan on June 14, 1972, but never made it out of the 1st inning and didn’t bat against Ryan. Assume two strikeouts of Odom; deduct one strikeout of Bourque. That record would only last our days, however, though, as Tom Seaver mowed down 19 San Diego Padres in a brilliant two-hit performance on April 22. Ryan might have been lifted with one out and a runner on second base in the 7th and the Angels down 2–0. Assume two strikeouts of Wilcox. Game 24—July 15 at Detroit (Ryan’s second no-hitter)Opposing pitchers: Jim Perry (7.1), Fred Scherman (0.1), Bob Miller (0), Ed Farmer (1.1)Opposing DH: Gates BrownAdjusted strikeouts: Add one. He pitched the last two innings, with four strikeouts. It was to be Ryan’a only appearance in a World Series in his entire career. Ryan’s wildness nearly cost him a chance for the complete game as he walked six through five innings to go along with (to that point) 11 K’s. Pitching 11 innings, he would have batted four times (3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th). Even if the kudos are as imaginary as the fictitious whiffs, Nolan Ryan’s projected 1973 strikeout total would have gone beyond 400. On this day, Ryan was matched up against Sonny Siebert, who hit very well in 1972 (.236 on 17 for 72 with 21 strikeouts) but was only 1-for-6 with three strikeouts against Ryan that year. Game 28—August 2 vs. TexasOpposing pitchers: Sonny Siebert (6), Don Durham (2)Opposing DH: Alex JohnsonAdjusted strikeouts: Deduct one. Assume one strikeout of Goltz; assume one strikeout of Hands; deduct one strikeout of Oliva. Taking the mound for the Angels on June 14, 1974, the future Hall of Famer struck out 19 Red Sox hitters over 13 innings in the California Angels' 4-3, 15-inning victory at the Big A. Hand would have come to bat in the 3rd and the 5th, and would likely have struck out his first time because Ryan fanned two of the next three batters. Pitching 7.1 innings, he would have batted three times (2nd, 4th, and 7th). Putting Ryan’s achievement in perspective nearly four decades later, one should note that the next closest whiff total in the intervening years has been Randy Johnson’s 372 for the National League’s Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. What is the rising action of faith love and dr lazaro? Game 30—August 11 at BostonOpposing pitchers: Roger Moret (7.1), Bobby Bolin (0.1), Bob Veale (1.1)Opposing DH: Orlando CepedaAdjusted strikeouts: Deduct one. Game 26—July 26 at TexasOpposing pitcher: Jim Bibby (9)Opposing DH: Alex JohnsonAdjusted strikeouts: None. Pitching 6 innings, he would have batted twice (3rd and 5th) against Ryan, who lasted only 5.2 innings. With no left-handed hitters on the Texas bench at the time, perhaps one of their top hitters available—Tom Grieve (.327), Ken Suarez (.285), or Jim Fregosi (.306), the last of which would have been an intriguing match-up of the two principals of the trade that landed Ryan in Anaheim—might have been called upon, but averages of this quality make the assumption of any of them striking out a tentative one. With the Brewers in 1972, Bell hit .071 (1 for 14 with 10 strikeouts) but did not face Ryan. Reichardt’s strikeout is removed since he would not have faced Ryan. He faced Ryan once on August 31, 1972, and grounded out. Had Nolan Ryan been afforded the same luxury of facing his mound opponents as Sandy Koufax, rather than the American League’s newly introduced designated hitters, how many strikeouts might he have totaled in his record-setting season of 1973? Then, in the World Series, Ryan got the save in game three, pitching 2 1/3 effective innings in game 3 against the Baltimore Orioles. It was 45 years ago Friday that Nolan Ryan pitched a game that, when compared to today’s baseball, feels more like it was from 100 years ago..

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