ATLANTA — Rookie Spencer Stryder had 16 strikeouts, a Warriors record in nine innings and just two hits in eight to lead Atlanta on Thursday night defeated the Colorado Rockies 3-0.
Strider fanned his last two batters in the eighth with two runners — his fastball still hitting 98 mph — for his superb 106 pitching game.
“I’m lost after five o’clock [innings],” Strider said of his strikeouts. Teammate Kyle Wright filled out the rookie record.
“I came out of the game and Kyle told me something about John Smoltz or whatever. It didn’t make any sense,” Stride said.
Smoltz held the previous Atlanta record with 15 strikeouts in nine innings against the New York Mets on April 10, 2005 and May 24, 1992 against Montreal. Warren Spahn had 15 strikeouts in nine innings in 1960, when the franchise was in Milwaukee. Spahn also had 18 strikeouts in a game in 1952, but that came in overtime.
Finally, Strider understood.
“It’s crazy, it’s a long, unbelievable list of people who have joined this organization,” Stryder said. “I’m grateful to be here and to be successful.”
Austin Riley and rookie Michael Harris II hit a single homer for Atlanta.
Strider threw just 42 pitches in his first four innings, setting a pace that allowed him to record his longest career start. He has no walking hitters, making him the fourth rookie in major league history to have 16 strikeouts and go without a walk in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The others are Jon Gray (2016), Claywood (1998) and Dwight Gooden (twice in 1984).
Strider also joins Wood, who in 1998 had 20 strikeouts, becoming the only rookie with at least 16 strikeouts and two or fewer runners, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Kenley Jansen hit a perfect ninth for his 31st of 36 saves.
The Warriors have won two of three against Colorado and are still three games behind the National League East-leading Mets.
Strider (9-4) was dominant in extending the Rockies’ road woes. Colorado is 20-44 away from Coors Field with a .313 winning percentage and is last in the majors. The right-hander hit the wing in the second and seventh innings.
In the Warriors’ 6-2 win over Colorado on June 4, Strider played just four innings and had five walks. This time, the rookie has much better control.
“It’s speed, and one of the things I think he can do better tonight is throw his sliders more efficiently,” Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon said. “I think that’s what made him better tonight. Looks like he’s settled in and has a good feel for that slider.”
In a 13-1 win over Philadelphia on Aug. 2, Strider set his previous high with 13 strikeouts.
Strider retired Colorado’s top 12 hitters, then CJ Cron threw a soft single into right field to lead the fifth. He wasn’t allowed to hit the ball again until Michael Toglia hit a single right in the eighth inning.
When first baseman Matt Olson was charged with an error after missing a pitch from shortstop Dansby Swanson, Elias Diaz then arrived to let runners on first and third base. Swanson struck out Ellejuris Montero and then incited Sean Bouchard — both of whom fired on sliders — for Atlanta’s record.
Warriors manager Brian Snitker said Strider was compared to former Warriors closer Craig Kimbrel in spring training and is now with the Dodgers.
“Now he looks more like Tom Seaver,” Sniteke said.
Strider is making his 30th career appearance and 17th start, his fifth career game with at least 10 strikeouts. He won his past three decisions and showed no signs of fading at the end of the season. He started the year in the bullpen in Atlanta.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.