In his checklist of records and historical moments, Max Scherzer was nearly perfect on Sunday as he tossed an immaculate inning and recorded his 3,000th career strikeout. It was a game to be remembered.
Scherzer worked his way into the 8th inning completely unscathed, retiring the first 22 batters he faced. The momentous 3,000th strikeout came in the 5th inning when 1st baseman Eric Hosmer went down swinging. With a tip of the cap and a toss of the signifying ball to the dugout for safe-keeping, Scherzer, seemingly unphased, finished the inning strong. “In the fifth or sixth, I realized I had something going there…once I was able to get through the sixth, I was like, ‘I got a chance to do this,’” said Scherzer.
In the top of the second inning, Max flexed his dominance with an immaculate inning, throwing 9 pitches for strikes and striking out the side. “I love strikeouts because the ball’s not in play…they can’t get a hit when the ball’s not in play. When the ball’s in play, anything can happen.” That’s definitely one way to make sure the other team doesn’t score any runs against you, Max!
‘Mad Max’s’ perfect game bid came to a screeching halt in the top of the 8th inning when Eric Hosmer, the same player to give him his 3,00th strikeout, roped a double down the right field line. Scherzer fell 5 outs shy of perfection.
Max has gone 29 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run and is 6-0 in eight games with an 0.88 ERA since being acquired by the Dodgers from the Washington Nationals at the July trade deadline. With a Major League-Leading 2.17 ERA, Scherzer continues to demonstrate that he was well worth the acquisition.
The Dodgers beat their rivals, the San Diego Padres, 8-0 to complete a 3-game sweep and continue their climb back up into first place in the National League West. They’re currently 2.5 games behind the Padres for the top spot but are far and away the Wild Card leaders in the division. A first-place finish would be the Dodgers’ 9th consecutive division title.