Max Scherzer absolutely dominated the Detroit Tigers tonight, as the Washington Nationals win the contest 3-2. Hitting 19th strikeout in the top of the 9th inning with no one out and one man on, the tall righty looked composed as ever to face Justin Upton. Scherzer had split the battle with one strikeout and one hit allowed to Upton, so he dug down and found himself the record-tying 20th strikeout.
Max Scherzer with 20 strikeouts!#Nationals
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) May 12, 2016
The next batter, C James McCann, grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
The feat has been done four times now in a regular nine-inning and the second time it has happened to the Tigers. It was first done in 1986 by Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens against the Seattle Mariners. Clemens did it again ten seasons later against the Detroit Tigers. Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs achieved 20 strikeouts against the Houston Astros.
What Scherzer was doing tonight, is pretty amazing. He recorded 20 strikeouts with only 119 pitches, the lowest total pitches ever thrown in a game with 20 strikeouts. The fact that he was hitting 93 mph on his fastballs after that many pitches, is amazing in it’s own right.
Is this kind of a shot right back at Strasburg after receiving his contract? A nice little reminder who the ace of the staff is. Not like Strasburg has to be told, after all, Scherzer’s contract signed last year was for $210 million over seven years. That is just a few million more than Strasburg received yesterday, for those keeping track at home.
It has to be one of the most intimidating things to step into a batter’s box starring back at Max Scherzer. Not only has the man been one of the most dominate pitchers in baseball over the last five years, but he has the look of a someone who would physically harm you if you looked at him wrong.
Congrats Max! Now rally your team and give us a contest in the NL East.