Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer struck out 20 batters in Wednesday night's 3–2 win over the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Kerry Wood, Roger Clemens (twice) and Randy Johnson are the only other pitchers to strike out 20 hitters in nine innings.
Tom Cheney of the Washington Senators struck out 21 batters in 16 innings against the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 12, 1962.
Scherzer threw 119 pitches on the night, 96 of which went for strikes. He did not allow a single walk and gave up six hits and two runs.
The previous Expos/Nationals franchise record was 18 strikeouts, which was set by Bill Gullickson against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 10, 1980. His 20 strikeouts is the most since 2001. His previous best before Wednesday night was a 17 strikeout performance in his no-hitter against the New York Mets last October.
Detroit Tigers Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, James McCann and Anthony Gose struck out three times, respectively.
Scherzer was facing his former team for the first time since signing a $210 million contract over seven years with Washington.
The Nationals hold a 21–13 record and sit atop the National League East.