by Rowan Kavner
Max Scherzer started last week crossing the 200-strikeout mark in a season for the ninth time in his career and ended the week flirting with perfection while surpassing 3,000 career strikeouts. His efforts were rewarded with more than just two wins.
Scherzer was named the National League Player of the Week for his work in the two starts, during which he tossed a combined 16 innings while striking out 22 batters without allowing an earned run or a walk. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in any of his last four starts.
The prized deadline acquisition capped the Dodgers’ weekend sweep of the Padres by allowing only one baserunner — an eighth-inning double by Eric Hosmer — in his eight scoreless innings Sunday. He became the 19th pitcher in MLB history to record at least 3,000 career strikeouts, doing so in 404 games and 2,516 innings. Hall of Famer Randy Johnson is the only pitcher to reach the mark faster (362 games, 2,470 2/3 innings).
“Everybody can have the ability to do this, but few have the durability to do this,” Scherzer said afterward. “That’s what I take away from this, all the hard work I’ve put in to be able to have this moment. That’s what feels good. You just want to thank everybody along the way.”
The Dodgers have won all eight of Scherzer’s starts since they acquired him at the deadline. He is 6–0 with a 0.88 ERA, 72 strikeouts and five walks in those eight starts. The Cy Young Award candidate leads all qualified Major League starters in ERA (2.17), WHIP (0.82) and opponents’ batting average (.175) for the season.
The weekly award was the sixth of Scherzer’s career. It’s the Dodgers’ third weekly honor of the season after AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor each took home the award in July.