CINCINNATI -- With a strikeout of Jordy Mercer in the ninth inning of Friday's 6-5 win over the Pirates, Aroldis Chapman set a Major League record, dating back to 1900, for most consecutive relief appearances with a strikeout, fanning a batter in his 40th consecutive game. His streak began on Aug. 21, 2013.
Chapman surpassed Bruce Sutter, who did so in 39 straight games from June 1-Oct. 2, 1977.
"I'm proud and happy that I've got the record," Chapman said through translator Thomas Vera. "[Since Thursday] when I learned that it was a record that I tied, it was on my mind, and now I feel happy that I have it, and I pray that I have the ability to extend the record."
Along his ascent to the top of the list, Chapman surpassed Jeff Montgomery (32 straight games from June 18-Sept. 5, 1989) and Eric Gagne (35 games from July 18, 2003-April 10, 2004).
Chapman struck out the side en route to his 20th save on Friday night, getting pinch-hitters Michael Martinez and Matt Hague to up his total number of punchouts during the streak to 83.
By comparison, Montgomery tallied 59 punchouts during his run, while Gagne recorded 65. Sutter struck out 87 in his 39 straight appearances, but in 23 more innings than Chapman. Sutter's streak covered 65 innings, and Chapman's currently spans 42.
Does Chapman see this as just one of several future records that he'll break?
"At this point, I don't know," Chapman said. "If another record comes around, I'd be happy. But at this point, I don't have any other records on my mind; I don't think about records. But when they come, I'll take them."
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.