May 11, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (31) high fives outfielder Bryce Harper (34) as he celebrates after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Nationals (27-19) have been the hottest team in baseball since the start of play on April 28th, leading the league with a record of 20-6 and a +45 run differential over that span. Leading the way has been Washington’s “Big Three,” which is composed of their dominant ace, superstar power hitter, and shutdown closer. Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, and Drew Storen are more than just quality household names, they are bona fide stars propelling their team to the top of their division.
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Between Scherzer’s dominance every fifth day, Harper’s raw talent and established instincts, and Storen’s ability to shorten close games, the Nationals have had their success built upon their three best players. While other teammates have contributed well, some even at an All-Star level, these three deserve the nod for truly carrying this team.
Other teams have tried to assemble a Big Three like Washington, but not many have succeeded in matching the current success the organization is enjoying. The closest comparison would either be the San Diego Padres’ tandem of James Shields, Matt Kemp, and Craig Kimbrel, or the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kenley Jansen. However, neither team has been able to receive MVP/Cy Young caliber production out of all three players thus far this season, whether it be due to injuries or slumps.
Is this the secret formula to winning? Could the success of a team really lie upon the shoulders merely three star players and an above average supporting cast? With the Nationals, it appears to be so, as they have shown no signs of slowing down. But just how dominant have these superstars been? Let’s take a deeper look.
Next: The Ace