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Former La Crosse Logger Max Scherzer strikes out MLB record 20



Scherzer played in La Crosse in 2004

It was a game for the ages for 31-year -old Max Scherzer on Wednesday night, as he tied a MLB record, striking out 20 batters in a complete-game victory for the Washington Nationals.

In 2004, following his freshman year with the University of Missouri, Scherzer pitched in La Crosse for the Loggers.

And, even as a 19-year-old, Loggers GM Chris Goddell said Scherzer flashed potential right from the start.

“His first fastball popped the mitt at about 96 and everybody kind of sat back and said, ‘This is a little different. This is something special,’” Goodell said.


As for Scherzer’s performance in the 3-2 victory, it’s just the fourth time to strike out that many in MLB history, along with Kerry Wood (twice), Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.

“It’s just unbelievable really,” Kapanke said. “Obviously, one of only four guys in the history of the game to do it. And, the manner in which he did it in – one of the best performances of all time. (Scherzer threw) 119 pitches and 96 of them for strikes. This guy’s at a different level. It’s fun to watch.” 

The last time anyone struck out 20, was Johnson in 2001. Wednesday, five batters Scherzer faced struck out three times, and 33 of his pitches were swings and misses, and 14 of the strikeouts were swinging, including all three in the third inning.

Goddell says he uses Scherzer, who had two no-hitters last year, and Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, as examples for his current team.

“Certainly we allude to these guys, because if you’re wondering, ‘Can you come through here, to the Northwoods League and make it all the way to the peak and pinnacle of the major league baseball game?” Kapanke asked. “Yeah, you absolutely can because we’ve seen it happen, and you’re watching it happen, right now.

“So, absolutely, we hang our hats on those guys.”

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