Max Scherzer started Friday night with 2,798 career strikeouts, eight shy of tying Hall of Fame hurler Cy Young (2,806 Ks) for 22nd on Major League Baseball’s all-time strikeout leaders list.

As the Nationals mentioned in their pregame notes “different statistics providers present a different strikeout total for Cy Young ... but according to the Elias Sports Bureau (the official statistician of Major League Baseball), Young’s career strikeout total is 2,806.”

So going in, eight Ks would tie Cy Young, and nine would give Scherzer the 22nd spot on the list all to himself.

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young award winner, picked up three Ks in the first two innings of his third start of the 2021 campaign. He was going up against the Arizona Diamondbacks in D.C., facing the team he debuted for in April of 2008, when he picked up his first K from the first batter he faced, before he added six more strikeouts that night (in a relief appearance).

Scherzer added his fourth K of the night in the third, and picked up two more in the fourth for six total on the night, then struck out the opposing pitcher for K No. 7 and out No. 3 in the fifth, completing five scoreless innings in a 0-0 game.