Max Scherzer has thrown two no-hitters, come within one strike of a perfect game, and met just about every expectation that accompanied the $210 million contract he signed with Washington. Still, after his latest masterpiece Wednesday night, he said: "There's something about 20." Scherzer struck out 20 batters to match the major league record for a nine-inning game in the Nationals' 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night, the AP reports. "Tonight was an emotional game, facing a former team and all those guys I have so much respect for," Scherzer said after pitching against the Tigers for the first time since leaving Detroit. "And so to have a game like this against that caliber of hitter on their side, it really puts a feather in my cap."
The ace right-hander, who pitched two no-hitters for Washington last season and struck out 17 in the second one, joined Roger Clemens (twice), Kerry Wood, and Randy Johnson as the only big league pitchers to compile 20 strikeouts in nine innings. "That's some serious company," Scherzer said. "It won't sink in right now, but it's an amazing accomplishment." Johnson achieved his feat for Arizona during a 2001 game that went 11 innings. Tom Cheney holds the major league record with 21 strikeouts when he pitched all 16 innings for the Washington Senators against Baltimore in 1962.