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Added May 16th, 2016 by Ian

Washington Nationals Max Scherzer’s 20 strikeouts ties record for nine-inning game

When Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer racked up his 20th strikeout against the Detroit Tigers on May 11th he tied a Major League Baseball record that had been achieved just four times before in the league’s long and storied history. This isn’t the first time the right-hander has made the record books either as he threw a pair of no-hitters last season with one of them being an out away from a perfect game. Scherzer struck out 20 of his former Tigers teammates on May 11th in Washington’s 3-2 victory which ties the mark for strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Scherzer’s feat also set a franchise record for the Nationals.

He had 18 strikeouts at the end of eight innings, which gave him a shot at setting a new record of 21 in the ninth. He managed to strikeout two batters in the inning, but James McCann then ended the game with a groundout. Along with striking out 20, Scherzer made it through the home game without walking a batter. He ended the game by giving up just two runs on half a dozen hits. Scherzer may have had some extra motivation against the Tigers since he left the club at the end of the 2014 campaign when they couldn’t agree to a contract extension. This was his first time pitching against Detroit since signing a $210 million, seven-year deal with the Nationals.

Washington manager Dusty Baker wasn’t about to pull Scherzer from the game even though he finished it by throwing 119 pitches. The only other pitchers to have recorded 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game are Kerry Wood of the in 1998 and Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox who achieved it twice, once in 1986 and then again in 1996. Randy Johnson also struck out 20 batters in nine innings in 2001 when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the game then went into extra innings. Oddly Brad Ausmus, the current manager of the Tigers, has been involved in three of the record-setting games and lost all of them.

The 31-year-old Scherzer, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri, raised his record to 4-2 with the win over the Tigers and has an earned-run average of 4.15 for the season along with 66 strikeouts and 15 walks. His career mark currently stands at 109-64 with an ERA of 3.46 and 1663 strikeouts and 438 walks. He went 14-12 last year, his first with Washington, and posted a career high in strikeouts with 276 and a career low ERA of 2.79. Scherzer has a career playoff record of 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA along with 80 strikeouts and 25 walks.

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