Scherzer, acquired at the trade deadline, entered Sunday’s start against the San Diego Padres six strikeouts shy of 3,000. In the fifth inning, Scherzer struck out Eric Hosmer on a 88-mph changeup to secure his spot in MLB history.
The 3,000th strikeout. pic.twitter.com/3H4KzfLb4T— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 12, 2021
The 37-year-old is the first pitcher to reach 3,000 strikeouts since Justin Verlander hit the mark on Sept. 28, 2019. Verlander was the second starter to reach the milestone in 2019, joining CC Sabathia. Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke will likely become the 20th member, sitting just 201 strikeouts shy of 3,000.
Reaching 3,000 career strikeouts is generally viewed as earning a guaranteed spot in the Hall of Fame. Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens are the only players with 3,000-plus whiffs who haven’t been enshrined, but that is due to character and off-field issues voters have.
Max Scherzer milestone strikeouts:— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) September 12, 2021
1: Jack Cassel, 4/29/08
500: Mike Carp, 6/11/11
1,000: Jason Kipnis, 8/8/13
2,000: Nomar Mazara, 6/11/17
3,000: Eric Hosmer, Today
Scherzer, an eight-time All-Star selection and three-time Cy Young Award winner, quickly became the ace of the Dodgers’ rotation. With Los Angeles projected to finish second in the NL West, Scherzer would likely take the mound in the NL wild-card game.
Eligible for free agency this offseason, Scherzer will have his choice of suitors. Even nearing his 40s, he continues to prove why he is one of the best pitchers in MLB and a future Hall of Famer.