With the second of his 10 strikeouts last night, Washington Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer reached 200 Ks total in 2016, hitting that milestone for the fifth straight season.
Among active pitches, Scherzer is one of only four who have collected 200+ Ks in five straight seasons. It’s Scherzer, the LA Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander and the Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez on that fairly exclusive list.
Scherzer’s strikeout total last night wasn’t even the most impressive thing about his outing against the Cleveland Indians.
He also took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before finally giving up a single.
ESPN’s Stats & Info Twitter feed noted that it was the eighth time he’d taken a no-hitter past the fifth in the last two seasons, two more than any other pitcher in the majors over that stretch.
He collected 10 Ks total on the night, his 10th 10+ K outings of the season and 40th double-digit strikeout start in the last five seasons, four more than any other pitcher in the majors in the past five years.
Unfortunately for Scherzer, the Cleveland Indians scored two runs (one earned) on him in his final inning of work in the seventh and went on to a 3-1 win.
It was Scherzer’s first loss in this last five starts and the third time in the last six starts that he’s reached double digits in strikeouts.
Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker talked after the outing about what’s worked well for Scherzer over the last month-plus.
“He’s coming out in the first inning ready,” Baker said. “Early in the year he was coming out and throwing a lot of pitches and not being in control of the zone.
“But he was in control of the zone like right away. He was focused, he was determined but... he just came out on the wrong end tonight.”
He did, however, get the Topps NOW treatment for reaching 200 strikeouts for the fifth straight season...
Topps: “Topps NOW offers trading cards featuring MLB's best moments immediately after they occur. Topps will print and deliver only the amount that is purchased within the allotted 24-hour time frame.”