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Max Scherzer of Washington Nationals records 300th strikeout of season

ESPN.com | Updated: 2018-09-26 09:35:14

WASHINGTON -- Chalk up another milestone for Max Scherzer.

The Washington Nationals ace recorded his 300th strikeout of the season on Tuesday. The landmark whiff came in the top of the seventh inning, when Scherzer got Miami Marlins rookie Austin Dean swinging on a 3-2 slider that ended a 10-pitch at-bat.

The 34-year old right-hander becomes the 17th pitcher since 1900 to fan 300 batters in a season, and the fifth hurler since 2000, joining Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale. Prior to this year, Scherzer's career high was 284 strikeouts, set during a 2016 campaign in which he tied a major-league-record by fanning 20 Detroit Tigers in a single start.

Entering play on Tuesday, Scherzer's 290 strikeouts were the most in the National League, and 31 more than New York Mets righty Jacob deGrom. That puts him in prime position to join Johnson and Nolan Ryan as the only hurlers in the divisional era to lead their league in punchouts in four consecutive seasons.

Scherzer is also vying to win his third straight Cy Young award. He's considered one of three main contenders, along with deGrom, and Aaron Nola of the Phillies. Although Scherzer (17-7) and Nola (16-6) hold a wide lead over deGrom (9-9) in wins, the Mets ace leads the NL with a 1.77 ERA that's over a half-run lower than anyone else.

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