Max Scherzer became the 19th pitcher in MLB history to reach 3,000 career strikeouts. He achieved the milestone on Sunday against the San Diego Padres in his eighth start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In terms of innings pitched, Scherzer is behind only Randy Johnson for the fastest to reach the benchmark. Zack Greinke (2,799 career strikeouts) and Clayton Kershaw (2,653) are the next pitchers who figure to reach 3,000 strikeouts in their career.
After collecting one strikeout in the first inning and an immaculate inning in the second, Scherzer got Wil Myers swinging in the third, then Eric Hosmer in the fifth to join the illustrious group.
Scherzer took the mound 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA, 1.33 FIP and 0.77 WHIP as a member of the Dodgers, and needing just six strikeouts to join the illustrious group of pitchers with 3,000 in their careers. Of the group, only Scherzer and Justin Verlander are currently active.
“That’s a huge milestone and something I’ll be proud of, but that’s just a part of the process of durability and going out there and executing gameplans,” said Scherzer last week of the impending accomplishment.
“It’s great to go out there and get strikeouts, but it’s more important to go out there and pitch well and locate well strikeouts are a part of the process of going out there and executing pitches.
“When you have opportunities to get strikeouts, I always want to, because I don’t want the ball in play. Anything can happen when the ball is in play. As long as I’m attacking the zone and working ahead in the zone, that’s my gameplan.”
In his last start, the future Hall of Famer reached 200 strikeouts in a season for the ninth career time. He did so eight seasons in a row from 2012-2019, including a career-best 300 strikeouts in 2018.
Scherzer: Just doing my job
While plenty has been made of his importance and success with the Dodgers, the right-hander largely downplayed the dominance since being traded.
“Coming over here, that’s what my job is to do. When it’s my turn, go out there and win,” Scherzer said. “There’s a ton of pressure to do that, you’ve got to compartmentalize it, accept it and go out there and give it your best every single time.
“Understand what makes you successful and how to avoid big innings. This team is great. Every time I’ve gone out there they’ve done a great job of providing run support, and run support early.
“Being on a team that provides you early run support allows you to get into your gameplan and rhythm a lot quicker. It’s been fun in these games going out there and pitching and winning every single time. I don’t care about my personal record, I just care about the team record. When you say we go 7-0, that’s music to my ears.”
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