Ultra-efficient Glasnow K's 14 on just 88 pitches, a new record

Dodgers right-hander needs just 88 pitches in seven scoreless innings to dominate Twins

April 10th, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS -- During warmups, had an idea he was going to pitch well on Tuesday. He definitely had no inkling that he’d be setting a record.

Glasnow tied his career high with 14 strikeouts while throwing seven shutout innings, leading the Dodgers to a 6-3 win over the Twins at Target Field.

The record-setting part of his night: Glasnow's 14 strikeouts came on just 88 pitches, making him the only pitcher to strike out 14 or more batters in a game while throwing fewer than 90 pitches since pitches were first tracked in 1988.

“I had no idea. That’s a cool stat,” Glasnow said when he was told after the game of how dominant he was.

The Twins might not have known they were on the wrong side of a record-setting night, but they certainly were aware they’d just witnessed greatness.

“If he’s executing pitches the way he did today, he probably beats any team in baseball on any given night,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I don’t say that lightly. I don’t know if I’ve ever said that about more than two or three guys that I’ve really seen in the last few years.”

Glasnow relied on his ability to mix pitches and get ahead of hitters to keep his opponents off-balance and limit his pitch count. He threw his four-seam fastball 51% of the time, followed by his slider (32%) and curveball (17%). And he got 21 swing-and-misses from the baffled Twins batters.

His 21 whiffs were tied for the third most from any pitcher so far this season, and were tied for the eighth most of any game in Glasnow's career (regular season or postseason).

“That’s exactly what we were looking for,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We’ve seen Tyler over the years from the other side and this is one of those things from Pitch 1 … he had complete control of the game. He was throwing his fastball to all quadrants, and tonight for me I just thought the breaking ball was a game-changer.”

Glasnow won his third straight start, but could have gone back out for more. However, managing his recovery time and monitoring his pitch count is something the team will do in the interest of the bigger picture -- and Glasnow said he’s on board with that, which is why there was no drama when he wasn’t sent out to pitch the eighth inning.

“He’s a big, big part of what we’re trying to do,” Roberts said. “So to think about one more inning -- there’s not a whole lot of upside for me.”

But getting back to pregame, Glasnow was able to see the effects of some adjustments he’d made since his last start, which elicited a familiar feeling in the bullpen.

“Warmups felt more like, not amazing, but I think my direction, how my ball usually moves was how it typically is when I feel right,” Glasnow said. “And when I got out to the game, I wasn’t thinking about it and … the direction stayed the same, and I felt like the tunneling was a lot better.”

The Twins were handcuffed all night, especially when Glasnow struck out six straight, including fanning the side in the fourth inning. All they managed were a pair of doubles by rookie outfielder Austin Martin (his first two Major League hits) and a harmless single by Byron Buxton in the seventh inning.

Glasnow's 14 strikeouts were the most from a Dodgers starter in a game since 2019, when Walker Buehler posted outings of 15 and 16 strikeouts.

What's more, other than Glasnow's performance, the only Dodgers right-hander to strike out at least 14 on three hits or fewer with no walks or runs scored was Van Mungo in 1935.

“It’s one of those days where you tip your cap,” Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers said. “He was better than all of us today.”

The end result was a shot across the bow of the other National League contenders.

“That was as dominant as we’ve seen him all year,” Roberts said. “And we expect more of that to come.”