Ray finally recorded his first win of the month on August 30th, after another brilliant performance against the Baltimore Orioles.
In that game, he passed the 1,000-inning mark for his career, and his 1,241 strikeouts at the time were the most in baseball history, ahead of Yu Darvish; he also immediately took over the lead for most K/9 IP, with 11.2, as 1,000 innings is considered the minimum number to be considered on the leaderboard.
Despite his lone victory in August, he was named American League Pitcher of the Month for his 1.76 ERA in 41 innings with 52 strikeouts. On September 5th, he became the first pitcher in Jays history to have four consecutive starts with 10 or more strikeouts.
In 32 starts, he went 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA, leading the league in innings pitched (193 1/3), ERA, and strikeouts (248). After the season, he was named the American League Cy Young Award winner for 2021.
Ray’s breakout season couldn’t have come at a better time, as he became a free agent again shortly after winning the Cy Young Award. The Seattle Mariners won the bidding for his services, offering him $115 million over five years in the hope that the turnaround seen with the Blue Jays was not a one-year blip.
He started the season slowly, as his record stood at 4-6, 4.93 after a loss on June 1st. However, he fared much better in his next three starts, earning two victories and a no-decision after pitching seven scoreless innings in the other.
He did not allow a hit in the third of these, on June 17th against the Los Angeles Angels, until he failed to field a comebacker by Max Stassi with two outs in the 7th and the play was ruled a hit.
He left after allowing two hits to begin the eighth inning, finishing with one run allowed on three hits and one walk, striking out ten, and earning an 8-1 victory.
How Many Pitches Did Robbie Ray Throw?
Between 2014 and 2022, Robbie Ray threw 20,707. His pitches were tracked by the PITCHf/x system, including pitches thrown during the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training.