Nationals: Takeaways from Max Scherzer’s 20 Strikeout Performance

mweyrich
May 11, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) is doused with water after striking out an MLB record 20 batters against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) is doused with water after striking out an MLB record 20 batters against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
May 10, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) in the dugout before the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Everyone’s Experienced the Fury of Mad Max

With his win over the Tigers, Scherzer joined John Lackey as the only two active pitchers to have beaten all 30 teams in the majors. Detroit was the last team standing, having been able to avoid Max’s wrath up until yesterday:

Scherzer kicked off his career without much luck on his side, failing to record a win across 16 appearances during his rookie season in 2008. His first win finally came on May 16, 2009 in a 12-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves in which he threw six shutout innings for the Diamondbacks. Max would finish the year with a modest 9-11 record, the final season (so far) that he recorded below a double digit win total.

The following offseason, Scherzer was traded to the Tigers in a three-way deal that landed Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy in Arizona. It isn’t very hard to judge how that one turned out. Since then, Max has recorded the second most wins in all of baseball (100) behind only Clayton Kershaw’s 105. Kennedy and Jackson have combined for only 28 more between the two of them.

In 2013, Scherzer made headlines with a 13-0 start on his way to winning the American League Cy Young. He finished the summer boasting a 21-3 record, leading the majors in wins in what was his first All-Star season.

By the time Max signed the massive free agent deal with Washington and made the switch to the National League, he only had six teams left to beat. He knocked four more off the list last season, leaving Detroit and St. Louis as the final two teams remaining. Scherzer was able to take care of the Cardinals on May 1, striking out nine batters across seven shutout innings. This all set the stage for Wednesday’s game, allowing Max to fittingly complete his quest against a team he had accomplished so much with.

Next: Nats Reaping the Benefits

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