Max Scherzer of Chesterfield, MO has been one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball during the 21st century. On Sunday, the 37-year-old made baseball history. In a game where the veteran right-handed pitcher took a perfect game into the eighth inning, Scherzer became the 19th pitcher in MLB history to record 3000 career strikeouts as the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded the San Diego Padres 8-0 at Dodger Stadium.
Nolan Ryan is the MLB leader in strikeouts with 5714. He is followed by Randy Johnson (4875), Roger Clemens (4672), Steve Carlton (4136), Bert Blyleven (3701), Tom Seaver (3640), Don Sutton (3574), Gaylord Perry (3534), Walter Johnson (3508), Greg Maddux (3371), Phil Niekro (3342), Ferguson Jenkins (3192), Pedro Martinez (3154), Bob Gibson (3117), Curt Schilling (3116), C.C. Sabathia (3093), John Smoltz (3084), and Justin Verlander (3013).
Of the 19 MLB pitchers that have recorded 3000 strikeouts in a career, only Scherzer and Verlander are active. However, Verlander is not pitching this season for the Houston Astros because he underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2020.
On Sunday, Scherzer improved to a record of 14 wins and four losses on the season. He had nine strikeouts and zero walks. Scherzer’s only hit allowed was a double by Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer in the eighth inning.
It has been an excellent season for Scherzer. In addition to being 14-4, he has a Major League leading earned run average of 2.17 with the Dodgers and Washington Nationals. In 27 games and 162 innings pitched, Scherzer has allowed 100 hits, 39 earned runs, 33 walks, and also has a Major League leading WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 0.82.
Scherzer has now reached a minimum of 200 strikeouts per season in nine over the last 10 seasons. His 219 strikeouts in 2021 is third in Major League Baseball. Only Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies (225 strikeouts), and Robbie Ray of the Toronto Blue Jays (220 strikeouts) has more strikeouts than Scherzer at this time.
With the win, the Dodgers have a record of 91 wins and 53 losses. Even though they trail the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games for the National League West Division lead, they have a 16 game lead over the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds for the first National League wildcard spot.