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Pirates rookie phenom Paul Skenes makes MLB history with another dominant outing

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Paul Skenes is living up to the hype.

In fact, he’s blowing right by it.

The LSU product was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the No. 1 overall selection in last year’s MLB Draft, and after dominating the minor leagues, they called him up earlier this season.

By the time he got the call, Skenes was the top pitching prospect in baseball and ranked third overall.

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Paul Skenes on mound

Paul Skenes of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the third inning of a game against the New York Mets at PNC Park July 5, 2024, in Pittsburgh.  (Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Now, he’s one of the best pitchers in the game.

Entering Friday night, the 22-year-old had a 2.06 ERA through nine MLB starts, allowing three runs or less in each of them. His only game allowing three earned runs was in his MLB debut.

He consistently hits 100 mph on the radar gun with devastating off-speed pitches, which has made him a strikeout machine.

Friday marked his 10th major league start, and the ninth in which he recorded at least seven strikeouts, setting the Major League record for the most in a player’s first 10 games to start a career.

The only time he didn’t strike out that many batters was on May 23, his third start, when he had just three punchouts against the San Francisco Giants.

Paul Skenes on bump

Paul Skenes of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning of a game against the New York Mets at PNC Park July 5, 2024, in Pittsburgh. (Justin Berl/Getty Images)

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Since then, it’s been seven straight outings with seven or more strikeouts, which also set a franchise record dating back to 1882.

His career-high in strikeouts so far is 11, which he did in his second start against the Chicago Cubs.

On Friday, Skenes struck out eight New York Mets in seven innings of two-run ball. His ERA rose to 2.08.

He and fellow rookie Jared Jones have helped the Pirates remain in the wild-card race. They entered the night four games out, but it looks like they found themselves an ace for years to come.

Paul Skenes after game

Paul Skenes of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks to the dugout after the top of the first inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at PNC Park June 23, 2024, in Pittsburgh.  (Justin Berl/Getty Images)

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His noted mustache and relationship with LSU gymnast Livvy Dunne have also helped him reach superstar status across the country, but he doesn’t need much off the field to be loved by Bucs fans.

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