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10 historic performances from 2016

Years from now, '16 statistical feats may still boggle minds
MLB.com

The long and winding road of 2016 is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean we can't take one last look back at an incredible year in baseball.

Every award imaginable for 2016 has already been handed out. Instead of passing out even more hardware, here are 10 of the statistics and milestones that made us shake our head in wonder this past season:

The long and winding road of 2016 is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean we can't take one last look back at an incredible year in baseball.

Every award imaginable for 2016 has already been handed out. Instead of passing out even more hardware, here are 10 of the statistics and milestones that made us shake our head in wonder this past season:

Max Scherzer, Nationals: 20 strikeouts on May 11 vs. DET
With 20 strikeouts against the Tigers, Scherzer tied Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Kerry Wood for the most strikeouts thrown in a nine-inning game -- and he did it in arguably the most dominant fashion of the four. Scherzer tossed an efficient 119 pitches, including 96 for strikes and only 23 called balls, giving him the fewest total pitches, fewest number of balls and highest percentage of strikes in a 20-strikeout game.

Zach Britton, Orioles: 0.54 ERA, 38 hits allowed
You may have heard that Britton finished 2016 with an almost unfathomable 0.54 ERA, the lowest in Major League history of any pitcher who's tossed at least 65 innings in a season. Even when accounting for the luck that might have factored into Britton's historic ERA, only 16 pitchers in history have allowed fewer hits than the 38 he let by (min. 65 innings) -- all of them doing so in the last 22 seasons.

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: 1.69 ERA, 11 walks, 15.64 strikeout-to-walk ratio
Though he finished 13 innings shy of qualifying for the ERA title, Kershaw's 1.69 mark nonetheless gives him three seasons in his career with a sub-2.00 ERA and at least 100 innings pitched. In doing so, Kershaw joined a pitcher he's so often compared to, Sandy Koufax, as the only pitchers in the Live Ball Era (1920-present) with at least three sub-2.00 ERA, 100-inning seasons.

But perhaps even more impressive was Kershaw's impeccable control. The southpaw finished with 172 strikeouts compared to just 11 walks, giving him a season-ending 15.64 strikeout-to-walk ratio that's the highest in history of any pitcher with at least 100 innings in a season. Those 11 free passes are also the fewest issued in a single year by any pitcher who tallied at least 150 strikeouts.

Video: SF@LAD: Kershaw fans seven, holds Giants to one run

Mike Trout, Angels: 174 OPS+
Trout finished his AL MVP-winning 2016 season with a Major League-best 174 park-adjusted OPS (where 100 is league average), giving him an OPS+ of at least 165 in all five of his full big league seasons. Throughout history, only Ty Cobb can match Trout's five years of at least 165 OPS+ through his age-24 season.

It also marked the third time that Trout led his league in OPS+, a total only matched by Cobb -- who led the AL in all five of his aforementioned seasons -- in modern baseball history for players through their age-24 campaigns.

Daniel Murphy, Nationals: 47 doubles, .595 SLG, 57 strikeouts
Murphy led the NL with 47 doubles and a .595 slugging percentage in 2016 on his way to a second-place finish in the NL MVP vote. He also struck out just 57 times, which were the third-fewest punchouts of any player with at least 500 plate appearances last season. In doing so, Murphy became only the 16th player in history to pair at least 45 doubles with a .595 slugging or higher while also striking out fewer than 60 times -- and the first since Albert Pujols in 2004.

Joey Votto, Reds: .408 second-half BA
After a tough first half, Votto made up ground in a hurry, becoming only the fifth player to bat over .400 in the second half of a season (with a minimum of 300 plate appearances) since the inaugural All-Star Game was held in 1933. Of those five, Votto is the only one whose average sat below .300 going into the Midsummer Classic.

Jake Arrieta, Cubs: No-hitter in April 
Less than eight full months after no-hitting the Dodgers, Arrieta struck again. The right-hander held Votto and the Reds hitless in a 16-0 rout for the Cubs that put Arrieta in exclusive company: He became only the third pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a span of 11 starts or less, joining Johnny Vander Meer (who threw back-to-back no-nos in June 1938) and Hall of Famer Warren Spahn.

Video: Arrieta tosses no-hitters in consecutive seasons

Mookie Betts/Xander Bogaerts/Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox: 20 HR, 30 2B, 80 RBIs
Each member of Boston's talented young trio tallied at least 20 homers, 30 doubles and 80 RBIs in 2016, making them only the fourth threesome of players age 26 or younger to all record those statistics in the same season. The 1991 Rangers and 2007-08 Brewers are the only other clubs who boasted a trio like Boston's.

Chase Utley, Dodgers: Zero times grounded into a double play
In 565 trips to the plate -- including 96 with either a runner on first or runner on first and second -- Utley somehow managed not to ground into any double plays. Utley is only the fifth player since 1942 to have avoided the double play over a full season of at least 502 plate appearances, joining Craig Biggio, Rob Deer, Dick McAuliffe and Pete Reiser in a very strange and somewhat lucky club.

Kris Bryant, Cubs: Three HRs, two doubles on June 27 vs. CIN
Last but not least, we'll give a nod to the '16 NL MVP, who became the first player in at least 100 years to pair at least three home runs with at least two doubles in a big league game. Bryant's 16 total bases that evening at Great American Ball Park also tied 13 other players for the third-highest single-game total in history.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.