Reynolds Sets Dubious Mark

Mark Reynolds became the new strikeout king as the Arizona Diamondbacks got eliminated from postseason contention Thursday. ALSO: Bob Melvin names his favorite for the closer's role next year.

It is not the kind of record Mark Reynolds wanted.

With two strikeouts Thursday, he set the major league single-season record with 201, two more than Philadelphia's Ryan Howard had last season.

"It's obviously something I have to work on for next year," Reynolds said. "It's not the greatest of records to have. You have to move on."

Reynolds, 25, also leads the D-Backs with 28 home runs and 96 RBI, and his production is such that he played virtually every day in his first full season, accumulating 163 more at-bats than he had in 2007, when he joined the team in mid-May.

"Think about how much more productive I would have been if I had put 20 more balls in play and driven in 15 more runs," Reynolds said. "A lot of younger guys struggle. I've been able to produce and struggle. It's tough to hit home runs and drive in runs and not strike out. It's kind of a Catch-22."

"He has a longish swing, and that's how he generates his power," manager Bob Melvin added. "He has to cut it down with two strikes. He's a good athlete. He shouldn't strike out that many times, and he knows it."

Reynolds, who is currently batting .240, said improvement will come in simple steps.

"It's a matter of pitch recognition and being more patient and more selective. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten to 3-2 and swung at ball four," he said. "It comes with getting more experience and having more of an idea what the pitcher is going to do to you. Right now, it's still a learning curve."

CARDINALS 12, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Arizona was eliminated from postseason contention with their loss after entering the day four games behind Los Angeles in the NL West with four games to play. The D-backs are the first team in major league history to have a five-game lead May 1 and not reach the postseason. Adam Dunn hit his 39th homer, his seventh with the D-backs. Doug Davis gave up three runs in four innings, his shortest outing since Aug. 3.


--RHP Chad Qualls will enter spring training with the inside track on the closer's job, manager Bob Melvin said. "Based on what he's accomplished of late, I don't see why he wouldn't be considered the favorite going in," Melvin said.

"That's good news," said Qualls, 4-8 with a 2.89 ERA. He has converted all five of his save chances since taking over for RHP Brandon Lyon on Sept. 12 and has seven saves in 15 chances overall, although most of his blown saves came in the seventh or eighth inning. Opponents are hitting .229 off Qualls this season.

--3B Mark Reynolds (201) and OF Chris Young, who struck out once to give him 163 this season, broke the major league record for strikeouts by two teammates in a season. They have 364. INF/OF Jose Hernandez (185) and 1B Richie Sexson (178) combined for 363 with Milwaukee in 2001.

--OF Adam Dunn knows what 3B Mark Reynolds is going through. Dunn set the major league record of 194 strikeouts in 2004 and held it for three seasons, until Ryan Howard broke it in 2007. "There are two ways to look at it. It means you are out there playing every day. A lot of people would have passed that if they played every day," Dunn said. "It sucks, but if you are producing out there, I'm not changing a thing. It's a production game. How many times do you step on home plate?"

--RHP Dan Haren is to make his final start of the season Friday against Colorado with a chance to strike out 200 for the first time in his career. He already has set career highs with 16 victories and 197 strikeouts. "When I'm striking out guys, my fastball is just pinpoint," Haren said. "When I was striking out 12, I didn't have a great split. But I had command of the fastball." Haren is 3-0 against Colorado this season.

--RHP Max Scherzer (0-4) made his last regular-season start Wednesday, finishing his rookie season with a 3.05 ERA that is much more representative of his body of work than is his record. In Scherzer's seven starts -- three in May, four in September -- the D-backs scored a total of 10 runs when he was in the game. "He's going to be real good," 3B Mark Reynolds said.

BY THE NUMBERS: .108 -- The D-backs' batting average with runners in scoring position in a 14-game stretch that began in Los Angeles on Sept. 5, when they lost five games in the NL West standings to the Dodgers. They were 11 of 102 through Sept. 19.

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