WASHINGTON -- Chalk up another milestone for Max Scherzer.
The Washington Nationals ace recorded his 300th strikeout of the season Tuesday night. The landmark whiff came in the top of the seventh inning, when Scherzer got Miami Marlins rookie Austin Dean swinging on a 3-2 slider for the second out.
Prior to ringing up Dean on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, Scherzer threw four consecutive fastballs, each of which the Miami left fielder fouled off. After every offering, the boisterous fans at Nationals Park, which included Scherzer's wife, Erica, grew louder, chanting, "Let's go, Max!" When Dean finally struck out, Scherzer smacked his glove in excitement and waved as the crowd of 26,483 gave him a prolonged standing ovation.
"I definitely wanted to do it here at home," said Scherzer, who is scheduled to make his final start Sunday, when Washington wraps up the season at the Colorado Rockies. "The fans, unbelievable support. When they're standing on their feet, going crazy, it just gives you an extra adrenaline boost, and you just want to go out there and accomplish that. It was an amazing feeling to have the fans behind you and the respect that they gave."
After retiring pinch hitter Derek Dietrich to end the inning, Scherzer walked to the dugout as Aloe Blacc's "The Man" blared throughout the stadium. Scherzer then shared hugs with Washington manager Dave Martinez and pitching coach Derek Lilliquist.
"What an unbelievable accomplishment for him," Martinez said of Scherzer, who allowed a run on five hits over seven innings to lead Washington to a 9-4 win.
With his 10 strikeouts for the outing, it is the 18th time Scherzer has tallied double-digit whiffs this season, most in the majors.
"I'm just happy I got to experience it," Martinez said. "I can't say enough about Max. He's a winner and a true champion."
Scherzer becomes the 17th pitcher since 1900 to fan 300 batters in a season and the fifth since 2000, joining Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale. Prior to this year, Scherzer's career high was 284 strikeouts, set during a 2016 campaign in which he tied a major league record by striking out 20 Detroit Tigers in a start.
Scherzer, 34, is the oldest pitcher in the modern era to record his first 300-strikeout season, based on age at the end of the season. The prior oldest at the end of his first career 300-strikeout season in the modern era was Mike Scott, who was 31 in 1986.
In addition to his strikeout prowess, Scherzer is one of five pitchers who have thrown multiple no-hitters in a season, as he pulled off the feat against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mets in 2015. He also is one of 10 hurlers who have won at least three Cy Young Awards and one of six to have taken home the hardware in both the American and National leagues.
Scherzer is considered one of three main NL contenders to win the award this season, along with deGrom and Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies. Scherzer (18-7) and Nola (16-6) hold a wide lead over deGrom (9-9) in wins. However, entering his final start Wednesday, the Mets ace leads the NL with a 1.77 ERA, which is more than a half-run lower than anyone else's.
If Scherzer is able to beat deGrom and Nola, it would give him three straight Cy Youngs, something only Johnson and Greg Maddux have accomplished.
When asked how joining the 300-strikeout club stacks up to his other accomplishments, Scherzer balked.
"It takes time to fully appreciate any milestone or accomplishment," he said. "So I'll best be able to answer that question maybe next year, of understanding that it is a short list, but it doesn't necessarily define you as a pitcher. There's more to pitching than just striking guys out, but also it is a big reason why you can have success. That's why it's a cool milestone, but there's more reasons to having success on the mound than just striking guys out."
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.