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Pirates Phenom Is Already Making History

Paul Skenes' first two starts as a Pirate have been exhilarating to watch. Sure, a team will shell him at some point, but that's the cost of doing business as a pitcher. When Skenes made his second career MLB start on Friday, he made some history. The 21-year-old phenom threw six innings against the Cubs, allowing no hits and striking out 11 on his way to the win. 

Starting Hot

On his way to earning his first career win, Skenes struck out the first seven batters he faced. That's the longest streak to open a game in Pirates history and the third-longest streak in the Live Ball Era behind Jacob DeGrom and Jim Deshaies. The seven consecutive strikeouts also tied the Pirates record for most consecutive strikeouts at any point in a game, joining Erik Bedard, who did it on May 3, 2012, and Francisco Liriano, who did it on June 1, 2013. 

Through just two MLB starts, Skenes has thrown a total of 29 pitches over 100 miles per hour, which is now the most by any starting pitcher in the MLB. The kid throws gas but can mix up on you with the offspeed when he wants. Pirates Reporter Hannah Mears asked him about hitters being able to prepare for him now that he has some MLB experience under his belt, and his answer was awesome: 

Pirates Got A Good One

That is not even all the history Skenes made on Friday afternoon in Chicago. His 11 strikeouts are now the most by any Pirates pitcher in a single game at Wrigley Field. For reference, Wrigley Field has been the home of the Cubs since 1916. The Pirates and CObs have played 1,017 games against each other all time. 

Six of the 11 strikeouts Skenes registered were on pitches over 100 miles per hour. That ties the Reds Hunter Greene for third most 100+ mph strikeouts in a game since 2008, the beginning of the Pitch Tracking Era. Skenes also touched 101.2 miles per hour when he struck out Miles Mastrobuoni in the second inning, tying his record for the fastest Pirates pitcher, ever strikeout. 

Skenes is now responsible for two of the three starts this season in which a pitcher threw at least a dozen pitches with triple-digit velocity. The only other guy to do it? Hunter Greene. 

Chasing Greatness

In this fantastic start, Skenes also became the first pitcher in the Modern Era to have an outing of six-plus innings with at least ten strikeouts and no hits allowed in his first or second start. Sure, it's a bit of a nitpicked record, a Lebron stat, as some may call it, but it's still history. 

It was also the second time ever that a pitcher age 21 or younger has had a 10-strikeout outing with no more than one hit allowed. The only other guy to do it was Cubs legend Kerry Wood, who was pretty darn good. 

Pitching Ninja on the app formerly known as Twitter has recently given the duo of Paul Skenes and Jared Jones the nickname of "Allegheny Electric Company," So far, it is pretty fitting. Both guys have been a jolt of life to this Pirates team this season. They will both be critical components to the Pirates if they want to be serious about winning any time soon.

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