Max Scherzer has been nothing short of stellar through eight starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers and on Sunday achieved a bit of history by becoming the 19th pitcher all-time with 3,000 career strikeouts.
Scherzer was utterly dominant as he retired the first 22 batters faced before allowing a one-out double to Eric Hosmer in the eighth inning. It was a bit of revenge for Hosmer, who went down swinging in the fifth for Scherzer to reach his 3,000th strikeout.
The normally stoic right-hander took a brief moment to tip his cap to teammates and Dodger Stadium upon reaching the milestone.
More congratulatory messages came once Scherzer was removed after eight innings, which included an embrace in the dugout with Clayton Kershaw, who figures to join the esteemed group as well before his career comes to a close.
“He was just happy to be able to watch it and that we’re on the same team,” Scherzer said.
When Kershaw comes off the 60-day injured list on Monday he will be at 2,653 strikeouts
“Hopefully I’m here to be able to watch his 3,000th as well,” Scherzer said. “Obviously with what he’s done in his career, he should be able to reach that milestone, and it would be a special one for him as well.”
If Kershaw and Scherzer are to still be teammates when the left-hander amasses 3,000 strikeouts, it will require the Dodgers to take action in free agency this winter because both pitchers will no longer be under contract once the 2021 regular season concludes.
A.J. Ellis recently predicted Kershaw would never play for any team other than the Dodgers, though the 33-year-old admitted he wasn’t sure what would free agency would entail.
Meanwhile, Scherzer has made multiple comments that suggest he is open — perhaps even prefers — to re-signing with the Dodgers in free agency.
When will Kershaw reach 3,000 strikeouts?
With only a few potential starts remaining this season, Kershaw doesn’t figure to reach 3,000 career strikeouts until some time during the 2023 campaign.
He set a career high with 301 strikeouts in 2015, but otherwise has only surpassed 200 once since then. Kershaw is at 127 punchouts so far this season.
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