In a season that began with Max Scherzer as more of an afterthought amongst the conversation of elite starters in the National League, the ever-intense future Hall of Famer continued solidifying his spot as the favorite to win a fourth-career Cy Young Award.
The Los Angeles Dodgers righty, who was dealt out west at the trade deadline after six-plus seasons with the Washington Nationals, recorded his 3,000th career strikeout on Sunday night in an 8-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.
He became just the 19th player in MLB history to reach that plateau on a busy night that also included him putting together an immaculate inning in which he struck out the side on just nine pitches, joining Chris Sale and Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers to pull that off at least three times in their careers.
Scherzer carried a perfect game into the eighth inning before Eric Hosmer ripped a double to spoil the chances of a fairytale evening in Los Angeles rather than just a historic one.
It was the only hit that Scherzer allowed as he went eight innings of shutout ball while striking out nine. He improved his record to 14-4 on the season while lowering his 2021 ERA to a tiny 2.17. The move to Los Angeles has paid off better than anyone could have imagined, as Scherzer has allowed just five earned runs in 51 innings of work (0.88 ERA) with 72 strikeouts.
Now, he’s on the cusp of becoming just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to win a fourth Cy Young, joining Roger Clemens (7), Randy Johnson (5), Steve Carlton (4), and Greg Maddux (4).
2021 NL Cy Young Award Odds
- Max Scherzer, LAD: +150
- Corbin Burnes, MIL: +165
- Walker Buehler, LAD: +200
- Zach Wheeler, PHI: +1000
- Brandon Woodruff, MIL: +1200
- Kevin Gausman, SFG: +3500
Odds courtesy of DraftKings