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Dodgers’ Max Scherzer notches 3,000th career strikeout against Padres

Max Scherzer has 3,000 reasons why he will always be among the best pitchers in the game.

The Dodgers right-hander threw his 3,000th career strikeout in the fifth inning of his team’s game against the Padres on Sunday. He’s just the 19th pitcher in Major League history to reach that milestone. The last two pitchers to reach the mark were Justin Verlander with the Astros and CC Sabathia with the Yankees, both in 2019.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Max Scherzer tips his cap after he pitched his 3000th career strikeout against San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning during in a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/John McCoy)
Los Angeles Dodgers Max Scherzer tips his cap after he pitched his 3000th career strikeout against San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning during in a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/John McCoy) (John McCoy/AP)

Scherzer came into Sunday’s game needing six strikeouts to reach the mark.

And it took “Mad Max” six pitches to dispatch of Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer for that magic number.

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He got ahead in the count dealing two back-to-back strikes on a 90-plus mile per hour cutter and four-seam fastball, then filled the count throwing three-straight balls. Scherzer eventually got Hosmer to whiff on an 88 mph changeup. Milestone reached.

He got to strikeout 3,001 the next inning on Padres’ right fielder Will Myers — for the second time in the game. And strikeout No. 3,002 came courtesy of Padres’ pinch-hitter Jake Marisnick. Scherzer rung up Will Myers for the third time to end the 8th and give Scherzer 3,003 career strikeouts.

But reaching that milestone was an inevitability, considering how easily he did away with the Padres’ lineup. He disposed of Fernando Tatis Jr., Hosmer and Tommy Pham 1-2-3, throwing nothing but strikes for the third immaculate inning of his career.

While the Dodgers had already tagged their San Diego neighbors for two home runs, Scherzer took a perfect game into the 8th inning before Hosmer doubled off the righty.

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Scherzer finished the game with 8 IP, 1 hit, 9 Ks on 92 pitches, 62 for strikes.

The Dodgers won 8-0 to notch their 91st win.

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