WASHINGTON — On Sunday, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer exceeded a milestone that few starters will ever reach, and almost no one has reached faster.
Needing just five strikeouts to reach 2,000 for his career, Scherzer exceeded the need, as he has so often in D.C. In just the fourth inning, he got Nomar Mazara swinging on a 1-2 slider that tailed inside.
From there, he rung up another five Rangers for his fourth-straight, double-digit strikeout performance and seventh in 13 starts this season. His four-game streak ties the longest such streak of his career.
He has 56 double-digit strikeout games in his career and leads all active MLB pitchers.
But the individual accolades are for another day. Today, Scherzer was disappointed that he could not break his team’s losing streak, which ended in a sweep at the hands of the Rangers.
“It’s really cool, but one of these days, I’ll actually reflect on it,” he said, matter-of-factly. “It stings a little bit when you get it in a loss. But you just keep marching on.”
In terms of innings pitched (1,784), Scherzer is the third-fastest to hit 2,000 strikeouts behind Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson.
In terms of batters faced, he was even faster than Johnson, and a whole host of other pitching gods.
“It’s crazy I’m even mentioned, I’m even among those guys,” Scherzer said. “Those are my pitching idols. I’m growing up watching those guys.”
And now, there is little question that Scherzer will be that type of idol to this generation of young pitchers.