Stephen Strasburg
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Stephen Strasburg passes Steve Rogers for franchise strikeout record

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Nationals hurler Stephen Strasburg became the new franchise strikeout leader on Friday, surpassing former Expos starter Steve Rogers’ record with his 1,622nd career strikeout against the Mets.

Strasburg entered the series with 1,619 career whiffs under his belt, needing just two to tie the record and three to break it. He found an opportune moment to do so when, after retiring both Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis in the first and second innings, he induced another three-pitch swinging strikeout from Todd Frazier in the third:

At the outset of Friday’s game, Rogers’ previous strikeout record had remained unchallenged for 34 years. He wrapped his 13-year career in an Expos’ uniform in 1985, striking out the Padres’ Steve Garvey in the first inning of his final start for strikeout no. 1,621. (For those who may feel it’s a bit generous to lump in the Expos’ team records with those of the Nationals, the player who previously tallied the most career strikeouts in a Nationals’ uniform was Jordan Zimmerman with 903 — a mark long-since improved by Strasburg.)

Following his record-setting performance in the third inning, Strasburg continued to improve his career totals. He bounced back from a disastrous, three-run inning in the fourth and struck out newly-minted Met Joe Panik, Marcus Stroman, and J.D. Davis, bringing his numbers up to 1,625 strikeouts overall. It’s an impressive addition to an already-solid campaign, one in which the 31-year-old righty carries a 3.80 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 10.7 SO/9, and 4.0 fWAR through 149 1/3 innings.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.