What! Dodgers Achieve First Strikeout-Free Game in Nearly Two Decades

Los Angeles Dodgers make MLB history with disciplined play

by Nouman Rasool
What! Dodgers Achieve First Strikeout-Free Game in Nearly Two Decades
© Harry How/Getty Images

In a bizarre show of precision and control, the Los Angeles Dodgers reached an important milestone in baseball history. Of the 44 plate appearances in Monday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, for the first time in 18 years the Dodgers secured a win without striking out a single player.

It was an 8-4 win that saw the Dodgers mash together 10 hits with eight walks, spreading insistent pressure over the Arizona pitchers. An onlooker, Freddie Freeman one of the new pillars in the Dodgers' lineup would be left surprised and staring in awe of his teammates' show.

"Is that what we did? I'd say that's very difficult in today's game," he commented post-game. The strangely played game was likely first noticed by one of the Dodgers' most important players, Kiké Hernández. It was at that point that Hernández began to realize during his last at-bat that the strikeout counter hadn't gone on all game.

He proceeded to confirm the infrequency with hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc.

Dodgers' Historic Discipline

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was equally impressed with his team's performance. "A lot of competitive at-bats," he said, speaking of the strategic approach taken by his players.

This game really hit home the evolving style of play in baseball, highlighted the differences between the old fashioned and what baseball looks like today, with significantly higher strikeout rates. The Dodgers last managed to get through a game without a strikeout on August 7, 2006, when the league-wide strikeout rate was just 16.8 percent, so much lower than today's 22.4 percent.

Player Max Muncy summed up how difficult this is in the current competitive environment, majorly difficult to achieve without striking out. The 44 batters put up against the Dodgers this way without striking out represented the most since the Indians sent 46 to the plate in such a manner on July 28, 2017.

That comes on the back of even more general improvement for the Dodgers, who only a week ago led the major leagues in strikeouts. Their recent performances, though, are speaking to the powerful mixture of strategy and skill within a robust two-strike approach which becomes a major part of their renaissance.

That's not all the Dodgers showcased on this night, not just their aptitude to avoid strikeouts but their depth and their resilience: A contribution from up and down the lineup led to a night to remember and an evening of history at Chase Field.

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