On May 22, 1901, Reds hurler Noodles Hahn set a Reds team record by striking out 16 Boston Beaneaters (now the Braves) in a 4-3 Reds victory. This Reds record stood alone until Jim Maloney tied the record on May 21, 1963.
The victory gave the Reds a 15-8 record, seven games above .500, and kept them in first place, one game ahead of the New York Giants. This glory of first place was short lived, however, as the Reds soon went into a tailspin and dropped all the way to seventh place within a month. They finished the season in last place (eighth) with a 52-87 record (.374), the third-worst Reds finish in team history.
In the meantime, Hahn was fantastic. Hahn finished the season 22-19 with a 2.71 ERA. He led the league with 41 complete games, 375 innings pitched and 239 strikeouts. He also led the league in SO/BB rate at 3.46. Hahn led the National League in strikeouts in each of his first three years and won 20 games in four of his first five years. Not that anyone knew this at the time, but Hahn finished in the top six in wins above replacement value for pitchers in his first six major league seasons.
For a frame of reference from contemporaries, baseball-reference.com quotes “The Sporting News”:
“. . . one of the game’s greatest left-handed pitchers.” – The Sporting News in 1904
Hahn is the Reds’ career leader in wins above replacement for pitchers and he’s in the top ten in career wins and earned run average.
Ron Villone also shares the Reds single game strikeout record with Hahn and Maloney. Villone struck out 16 St. Louis Cardinals in a 8-1 Reds’ victory on September 29, 2000, Villone’s last appearance for the Reds.