When the Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson struck out nine Marlins last Thursday to reach 300 strikeouts in a season for the third time, he attained the magic number faster—in only his 29th appearance of 1999—than any pitcher ever had. (With seven starts remaining through Sunday, he had an outside shot at Nolan Ryan's major league record of 383, set in 1973.) In terms of strikeouts per nine innings, however, this had been only Johnson's fourth-best year (12.00), which would still make it the fourth best ever if he finishes at that rate. Here are the single-season leaders in strikeouts per nine innings (minimum 250 strikeouts).
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