Dodgers’ Max Scherzer notches 3,000th career strikeout

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — Max Scherzer of the Los Angeles Dodgers has become the 19th player in major league history with 3,000 strikeouts.

The 37-year-old right-hander fanned Eric Hosmer of the San Diego Padres in the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium.

The crowd gave the three-time Cy Young Award winner a standing ovation, and Scherzer doffed his cap. He threw the keepsake ball into the dugout. Hosmer went down on six pitches, retired on a swinging strike.

The punchout also kept Scherzer perfect through five innings in a game that also included an immaculate inning. He’s thrown two no-hitters in his 14-year career but never a perfect game.

Knowing Scherzer needed one more to reach the mark, fans got to their feet and cheered each time he had two strikes on a batter. Some held up cell phones to record the moment.

Scherzer came into the game needing six strikeouts to reach 3,000. He got Trent Grisham in the first. He struck out the side on nine pitches in the second, retiring Fernando Tatis Jr., Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham, who all went down swinging.

In the third, Scherzer struck out Wil Myers on five pitches.

Scherzer is 13 strikeouts from catching Houston’s Justin Verlander for the most among active players. Verlander – a teammate of Scherzer’s in Detroit – is missing the entire 2021 season following Tommy John surgery.

It took Scherzer 404 games to reach the mark, second fewest in history behind Hall of Famer Randy Johnson at 362 games, per Elias. He’s also the first to reach 3,000 Ks in a Dodgers uniform.

Scherzer is 13-4, and his 2.28 ERA was second in the National League behind Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes entering Sunday. He was acquired from the Washington Nationals in July and put himself in contention for a fourth Cy Young down the stretch for the Dodgers.

He is on a nine-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since May 30 against Milwaukee. He is 9-0 in his last 15 starts since June 4, going 9-0 with a 2.23 ERA. Four of those wins have come with the Dodgers.

Scherzer was drafted by Arizona in 2006 out of Missouri. He has pitched for the Diamondbacks, Detroit and Washington, and is a combined 188-97 with a 3.15 ERA in his career.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”