Stetter's feat has no known equal
Brewers lefty finds new territory with 15-out streak of strikeouts
MILWAUKEE -- Mitch Stetter has made history. The context of such history just isn't quite apparent yet.
The Brewers reliever went into Wednesday night's game against Minnesota at Miller Park having recorded his last 11 outs via strikeout. Stetter had already broken the franchise record of 10 (set by Ben Sheets in 2008), and he added to his total by striking out the side in the seventh inning of the Brewers' 4-3 win over the Twins on Wednesday.
In Thursday afternoon's 6-4 loss to Minnesota, Stetter struck out Justin Morneau in the seventh inning to extend his streak to 15. The string finally ended when the next batter, Jason Kubel, flew out to right field.
As for where Stetter's current streak of 15 consecutive outs via strikeout sits in baseball history, no one has yet found any pitcher with a longer streak.
Like a seeing-eye single or a Texas Leaguer, Stetter said his streak -- wherever it sits in baseball history -- is simply good fortune.
"Obviously, it's sheer luck when you go back and look at it," Stetter said after Wednesday's game.
One instance of luck came earlier in the seventh inning on Wednesday, when Twins catcher Joe Mauer rocketed a ball that went in and out of Stetter's glove and fell for an infield single.
Another time the streak could have been broken was on June 17 in Cleveland, when Victor Martinez hit a soft grounder back to Stetter, who bobbled it for an error.
Between the Martinez play and the one Wednesday night, Brewers manager Ken Macha jokingly said that he thinks Stetter was consciously out to get the record.
"I think he's missing those balls on purpose, so he keeps his strikeout streak going," Macha jokingly said.
Macha also said that the rest of the bullpen has ribbed Stetter for some of those close plays, but relievers Todd Coffey and Chris Narveson didn't want to talk about Stetter's streak in fear of jinxing it.
Mark DiFelice did say before the string ended, "We're all for it. We want him to keep it going."
All jokes aside, Stetter (2-0 in 35 appearances) put down some tough hitters during his current stretch. He struck out Colorado's Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe twice, as well as Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo. White Sox slugger Jim Thome and Minnesota's Kubel also have been victims of Stetter's, in addition to the dangerous Morneau.
"The only thing you can say about it is that it's sheer luck," Stetter said. "I just get strikeouts when I'm just trying to get outs."
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.