Max Scherzer has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the past several seasons, but he put an exclamation point on resume Wednesday night while joining a very exclusive club.
The Washington Nationals pitcher struck out an MLB-record 20 batters against his former team, the Detroit Tigers, in a 3-2 win. He joins Roger Clemens (twice), Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers in MLB history to do so.
Here’s every single one of Scherzer’s Ks.
Wood took to Twitter to congratulate Scherzer on the game.
He needed just 119 pitches for the complete game effort, an incredible 96 of which were strikes. His 33 swings and misses were the second-most in a game in the last 15 seasons (Clayton Kershaw had 35 last season), according to ESPN, and the Tigers chased 19 pitches out of the strike zone.
“I had everything left in the tank,” Scherzer said, via ESPN. “When you have something like that going for it, you have all the fans up there, standing on their feet, making a lot of noise, that’s all the adrenaline you need.”
Scherzer tossed two no-hitters last seasons, but this accomplishment might top the list for the 2013 Cy Young Award winner. Of his 20 strikeouts, 11 came on fastballs. He credited a teammate for giving him a tip that led to the mighty feat: Stephen Strasburg, who recently signed a $175 million extension with the Nats, told him his 97 mph fastball would be effective against the Tigers.
Clearly, it worked.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images