Frankie Montas joins 200 Strikeout Club, fifth pitcher in Oakland A history to do so


Oakland A’s rotation was the team’s best strength this season, the best starting groups they’ve had in years. Now one of them has a new place in the franchise’s record books to show it.

Friday against the Houston Astros, Frankie Montas got his 200th strike of the summer. That makes him the fifth Oakland pitcher to reach that mark in a season.

  • 301: Vida Blue, in 1972
  • 205: Dave stewart, in 1987
  • 205: Todd Stottlemyre, in 1995
  • 205: Barry zito, in 2001
  • 200 (so far): Frankie Montas, in 2021

With one more start to go this week, he still has the chance to break the tie three over him and move up to second behind Blue. It took only 181 innings for Montas to rack up his tally, far fewer than anyone on the roster – Stottlemyre was the closest with 209 frames and Blue led the way with 312.

This feat is the worthy symbol of an excellent campaign by Montas, in which the right-hander has strengthened over the summer. He wrestled in April, settled in May and June, then pitched like an ace since July, with a sparkling 2.38 ERA and 3.01 FIP in his last 16 outings. He’s made a dozen quality starts in his last 14 tries, often working seven innings at a time.

The strikeout took place on Friday against Carlos correa, and it was the eighth of the game for Montas. He’s got Correa five times this year, tied with Seattle Kyle seager for the second plus, after Houston Yordan Alvarez with eight in a dozen plaque appearances.

With strikeouts on the rise in the sport, Montas’ total only ranks 12th in the majors, or fourth in the American League. But it’s been two decades since we’ve seen anyone reach 200 in Oakland, with the most recent near miss being Gio González with 197 in 2011, followed by Sonny Gray with 183 in 2014. Sean manaea joins that list of honorable mentions this year, at 188 right now with another start to make – unless he could fan a dozen Astros in his last appearance!

Looking deeper into franchise history, the Philadelphia A’s made nine more seasons of 200 strikeouts, when pitchers regularly pitched over 300 innings. Rube Waddell did it five times, including the franchise record of 349 in 1904 (in 383 frames); Eddie Plank did it twice; and The grove of the left did it once, all those Hall of Fame members. Jack coombs Also arrived there once in 1910, only Grove arrived later than in 1930.

Now Montas has done it too, at a time when strikeouts rates are on the rise, but workloads have never been lower. As the rest of the Oakland pitching staff began to wear out and injure themselves in the late summer, Montas continued to improve, doing everything he could to keep the rotation afloat, including by stopping a few team losing streaks. He looked like the star we started seeing in the first half of 2019 before his suspension.

Even though there will be no playoff trip at the end of the trip, the club’s record books will have a special place for Montas’ performance.


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