The month of May brought about great things for the Washington Nationals. They had one of the best records in the National League during that month when they went 18-9 after going 10-13 in April. Today, two of the key superstars on the team were awarded for their outstanding achievements.
Right fielder Bryce Harper and the ace of the rotation, right-hander Max Scherzer were named the hitter and pitcher of the month in the National League. According to Major League Baseball, it is the first time that a hitter and pitcher from the same team swept the player of the month awards since July of 2008:
Let’s start with Harper. The 22-year-old swept the baseball world by storm with the historic month that he had. In 86 at-bats, he hit .360/.495/.884 with 13 home runs (a Nationals record), 28 RBI’s, and 22 walks. The highlight of Harper’s month came on May 6 against the Miami Marlins. He hit three home runs in his first three at-bats against Marlins starter Tom Koehler during a 7-5 win.
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From May 7-May 9, Harper hit six home runs over that three game period. What was most impressive about Harper’s month is that he would work his way on-base practically every single day. He reached base at least one time in 23 of 26 games during the month of May. Right now, he is the leading vote getter for the All-Star Game in the National League.
As for Scherzer, the Nationals new ace has re-adjusted well to facing National League hitters. In the month of May, the 30-year-old went 5-1 in six starts with a 1.67 ERA. Over the course of 43 innings, he struck out 56 batters and walked six. In all six starts, he went at least seven innings, including pitching eight innings against the Phillies on May 21.
He had a streak of five straight decisions won, which was snapped last night when the Nats lost to the Blue Jays. In those six May starts, he had ten or more strikeouts in four of those outings. He ended his month on a great note on May 27 when he gave up no runs on five hits and struck out 13 Cubs over seven innings in a 3-0 win, when he was able to beat Jon Lester.
Together, Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer helped lead the Nationals back to first place in the National League East. Now, fans hope that this duo can help lead the team to the ultimate goal, which is winning a World Series.