I don't think I'm misunderstanding anything. I'm a member of SABR, I've read plenty of articles espousing these very beliefs, I get the argument. It's just bullshit. If outs are outs in your first paragraph, then why, in your second paragraph, do you have to tell me who strikes out more batters once you've told me they have the same hit rate? Don't pretend you don't refer repeatedly to FIP and other three true outcomes analysis, because I've seen you do it for years, and so has everyone else who's been around these forums.
The reality is that for whatever reason, the modern baseball statistician believes that hitters can strike out without overly hurting their stat lines, but pitchers need Ks to be effective. That's an oversimplification, but except in the case of extreme outliers (pitchers who don't walk anybody, K anybody, or give up any home runs still have decent FIP) most cases boil down to that sentence. It doesn't take a particularly deep analysis of the statistics considered to recognize exactly what I stated above: statisticians seem to believe that hitters control the quality of contact they make (obviously true), while pitchers do not. If the ball isn't a home run, it has a flat probability of being converted into an out, being an XBH, etc. This is absurd.