Max Scherzer Sets MLB Record For Most Plate Appearances Without Reaching Base
Max Scherzer
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Aside from his final two starts of the regular season, Max Scherzer has been nothing short of dominant since being acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers at the MLB trade deadline.

The future Hall of Famer allowed a total of five earned runs through his first nine starts with the team, and during an outing against the San Diego Padres earlier this month, became the 19th pitcher in MLB history to reach 3,000 strikeouts.

As Scherzer potentially closes in on winning a fourth Cy Young Award, he now is on the wrong side of an MLB record for his lack of contributions at the plate.

Scherzer did not reach base safely in any of his 63 plate appearances between the Washington Nationals and Dodgers this year, breaking former Miami Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen’s previous record of 49 plate appearances set during the 2016 season.

Just like many excellent pitchers before him, Scherzer was never known for his offensive abilities. He owns a career batting line of just .168/.194/.188 across 529 plate appearances with 78 hits, including one home run during the 2017 season.

When Clayton Kershaw hit an infield single in his first at-bat off the injured list two weeks ago, Trea Turner was quick to playfully remind Scherzer of his struggles.

“As soon as that ball was hit, even before Kershaw stepped on the base, I could already hear Trea yelling at me, ‘He’s got a hit!’ Trea’s just ragging me the moment that happened,” Scherzer explained.

“I was just not having it. Like, ‘I know I stink right now, Trea. I know I stink. I’ve been good in the past, but what do you want from me?’ That’s how I like to play on the bench.”

Scherzer’s next start

As it currently stands, Scherzer is lined up to make his next start on extra rest in the National League Wild Card Game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

If the Dodgers were to force a tie-breaking Game 163 against the San Francisco Giants to crown a division winner, the right-hander would take the mound on regular rest.

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