As Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani stretches the imagination for what baseball players are capable of, the vast majority of the rest of the league's pitchers are demonstrating the age-old universal truth: pitchers are usually really, really bad at hitting.
Case in point: Dodgers ace Max Scherzer, who on Wednesday night against the Braves made a bit of dubious history during his fifth inning at-bat. Facing Atlanta's Max Fried, Scherzer struck out on six pitches, marking his 50th consecutive plate appearance this season without reaching base via a hit, walk or hit by pitch.
That, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, breaks the previous record of 49 held by Wei-Yin Chen. In his first 50 plate appearances of 2020, he's struck out 20 times.
To illustrate the two extremes of being able to reach base safely, Scherzer's streak roars on as Tampa Bay's rookie shortstop Wander Franco has reached base in 32 consecutive games. With the designated hitter in use for both leagues in 2020, the last time Scherzer reached base by way of a hit, walk or hit by pitch was on Sept. 18, 2019, when he singled off of Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright in the top of the second inning.
Thankfully for the Dodgers, their lineup has plenty of firepower elsewhere, and they did not acquire the three-time Cy Young Award winner for his offensive prowess. Through his first five starts with Los Angeles, the 37-year-old has gone 4-0 with 41 strikeouts and a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings.
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