This week’s Washington Nationals player of the week goes to Max Scherzer for his two strong outings
During this week, the Nationals went 4-3 in seven games against the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. While Jayson Werth (game-winning hit on Wednesday), Michael Taylor (two home runs on Sunday) or Stephen Strasburg (seven innings, one run vs. Cubs on Wednesday), this week’s Nationals player of the week goes to Max Scherzer.
Scherzer made two starts this past week and went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. On Monday against the Cubs, he went seven innings, gave up one run on two hits, and struck out 11 in a win. He struck out eight of the first nine hitters he faced and was perfect for 5.1 innings until allowing a solo home run to Addison Russell in the top of the sixth.
Then, on Saturday night at PETCO Park, the Nationals right-hander went six innings, gave up one run (solo home run by Wil Myers in the first) on four hits, and struck out ten. However, he was unable to get his fourth straight win because of the bullpen debacle in the bottom of the eighth.
So far, June has been the best month of the season for Scherzer. In four starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA and has 38 strikeouts to three walks in 28 innings. He is the only starter in the Nationals rotation to have an ERA under three this month (Stephen Strasburg is second at 3.72).
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If you look at where Scherzer stands among the league leaders this month, he has the most strikeouts in the National League (38), is tied for fourth in innings pitched, and opponents are only hitting .162.
Scherzer has a couple more starts to go in June, but right now, his batting average against has gone down each month and teams are hitting .202 for the entire season against him. That is an interesting stat when you consider he has allowed 18 home runs (most in the National League).
Even though Scherzer will not be making his next start until Friday night in Milwaukee, his last start at Miller Park was excellent. On June 14, 2015, Scherzer threw a complete game one-hitter, struck out 16, and walked one.
When Scherzer takes the mound, there has to be confidence that the Washington Nationals have a good chance to win. Even though Strasburg is undefeated, Scherzer always brings a chance to have history happen such as the 20-strikeout game this season against the Tigers or the two no-hitters last season. Today is the one-year anniversary of Scherzer’s no-hitter against the Pirates.
Right now, Scherzer is still the ace of the Washington Nationals. He goes further into games than anyone in the rotation and he has thrown the most pitches. His 1,557 pitches thrown this season are two behind David Price for the most in baseball. After a slow start to the season, it seems Scherzer has found his form at a time when the team needs him to eat innings and make up for the struggles of some of the starters.