Hey baseball fans!
Yesterday, Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals struck out 20 Detroit Tigers in a 3-2 Nationals win, tying the record for the most single-game strikeouts in baseball history! But who is he tied with and how many people? Well, in this post, I will explore the answer to that question.
Roger Clemens twice struck out 20 batters in a game. The first year was 1986, the year he made his first All Star Game and won his first of a record seven Cy Young Awards. On April 29, 1986, Clemens started at Fenway Park against the Seattle Mariners, a team that would finish the '86 campaign with the second-worst record in the major: 67-95. Clemens mowed through the Mariners' lineup with ease, striking out each starting player at least once. Seattle left fielder Phil Bradley actually struck out a team-high four times that day. The Red Sox ended up winning the game, 3-1, and Clemens got his fourth win out of the 24 eventual wins he would collect in 1986.
Fast forward to September 18, 1996, where Clemens would again strike out 20 batters, this time against the Detroit Tigers, who, in 1996, posted one of the worst win-loss records in baseball history at 53-109. Once again, Clemens struck out each member of the Tigers' starting lineup at least once, with the strikeout leader being shortstop Travis Fryman with four strikeouts on the night. The win marked Clemens's tenth win on the season and the 78th win for the Sox.
Before Scherzer, the last 20-strikeout performance in a game was by Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs against the Houston Astros on May 6, 1998. Unlike Clemens's 20-strikeout games, Wood struck out every single batter who appeared for the Astros at least once, pinch hitters and all. Actually, had Wood not given up a single to Ricky Gutierrez in the top of the third, he would've pitched a perfect game. The Cubs ended up winning the ballgame (obviously) by a final score of 2-0, as Wood picked up his third win of the young season.
I almost forgot to mention: Randy Johnson collected 20 strikeouts against the Reds on May 8, 2001 while pitching for the Diamondbacks, but he actually let up an earned run and the game went to extras tied at one. The D-Backs eventually won the game, but Johnson didn't get to win. So yes, he did reach the 20-strikeout milestone, but he didn't get the "W."
Some performances, huh? Seriously, congratulations to Max Scherzer for join such a exclusive club! Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."