Here are 20 stats to know about Max Scherzer's 20-strikeout game
Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out 20 against the Tigers on Wednesday night. Now let's take a deeper dive into his historic gem.
1. Let's just say the five nine-inning 20-K games combine for some dominating symmetry ...
Roger Clemens 1986. Roger Clemens 1996. Kerry Wood 1998. Randy Johnson 2001. Max Scherzer 2016. 100 strikeouts. 0 walks.— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) May 12, 2016
2. On the pitch-count front ...
Pitch counts for 20 K games:— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) May 12, 2016
Max Scherzer 119
Randy Johnson 124
Kerry Wood 122
Clemens (1996) 151
Clemens (1986) 138
3. And speaking of fellow traveler Randy Johnson, Scherzer now joins Johnson as the only pitchers to have a no-hitter (both ex-Diamondbacks have two of those) and a 20-strikeout game.
4. Scherzer entered Wednesday averaging 16.9 pitches per inning. Yet despite the low number of outs recorded on balls in play, he didn't throw more than 16 pitches in any single inning.
5. And now for one of the most fundamental signifiers of true mound dominance ...
Most Swings and Misses in Single Game - Last 15 Seasons— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 12, 2016
2015 Clayton Kershaw 35
2016 Max Scherzer 33
2004 Jeremy Bonderman 33
6. Notable pitching names who have 20 or fewer strikeouts for all of 2016? The list includes Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Shelby Miller and Derek Holland.
7. One of the most remarkable numbers from Scherzer's start -- besides the 20 strikeouts, of course -- is that he threw 96 strikes on the night. Ninety-six strikes, people. Some perspective on that ...
Max Scherzer is the only pitcher in the history of the game to throw as many as 96 strikes in fewer than 125 pitches. Needed 119. Whoa.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) May 12, 2016
8. Striking out at least one batter in every inning seems like a given, but Scherzer came close to recording at least two strikeouts in every inning, only falling short in the fourth.
9. Want some early-and-late fastball symmetry? There's this, followed by this ...
Max Scherzer touched 98 MPH in the first inning... Hardest pitch that he's thrown this year.— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 12, 2016
Scherzer struck out Cabrera on a 98 mph fastball. 19, a new franchise record.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) May 12, 2016
10. The pitch-type breakdown ...
11. And regarding the Ausmus Effect ...
Tigers catcher Brad Ausmus has either played on or managed the losing team in 3 of the 5 20-strikeout games.(Wood, Clemens, Scherzer)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 12, 2016
12. Now for a little franchise history ...
Max Scherzer is the real deal. pic.twitter.com/APSE4gN3op— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) May 12, 2016
13. Among Detroit starters, only Victor Martinez managed to avoid striking out against Scherzer. Scherzer spread his 20 strikeouts over nine different batters, and five Tigers hitters -- Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, James McCann, and Anthony Gose -- struck out three times apiece.
14. Despite the career high in strikeouts, it was only the fifth-best game of Scherzer's career per Game Score. His 17-strikeout no-hitter tops the list, followed by his 16-K one-hitter and his other no-hitter.
15. Speaking of those massive strikeout totals, Scherzer is just the fourth pitcher with three performances of 16 strikeouts or more since 1990. Only Pedro Martinez (four) and Randy Johnson (14!) have more. Clemens has three as well.
16. It was Scherzer's second career start against the Tigers, his former team. In his first, on May 17, 2008, he took a loss despite surrendering no earned runs. He needed 102 pitches to complete five innings in that one, giving up two earned runs and striking out only five.
17. On the other side, Scherzer was facing his former Nationals teammate, Jordan Zimmermann, who entered the game having given up just five earned runs in six starts and boasting an MLB-leading 1.10 ERA. However, he was no match for Scherzer and earned his second loss of the season.
18. Hey, there's never a bad time to invoke the name of the late, great Tony Gwynn ...
19. Nine of Scherzer's 20 strikeouts were recorded on three-pitch at-bats, and his 45 percent clip blows away the league average of 20.7 percent of strikeouts being on three pitches.
20. Scherzer of course vanquished his former team Wednesday night. The Tigers also happened to be the last team on Scherzer's list ...
Here's to Max Scherzer, maker of history.
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