Max Scherzer ended the first half of the 2016 season on a dominant run, and now he’s poised to lead the Washington Nationals back to the postseason this fall.
Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer pitched a scoreless frame in last night’s All-Star Game — a well-deserved moment in the spotlight for a pitcher who wasn’t even supposed to be there in the first place.
Scherzer, of course, took Stephen Strasburg’s spot on the National League roster after Strasburg decided not to pitch in the game. Scherzer’s exclusion from the original pitching staff was likely due more so to Strasburg’s success than to any shortcomings on Scherzer’s part.
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Nevertheless, there have been times this season when Scherzer hasn’t looked like his old, dominant self. The right-hander posted a 4.35 ERA in April. In May, he allowed a whopping 10 home runs in just six starts. For a while, people were asking a question we never expected before the season: what’s wrong with Scherzer?
Now, however, any doubts about Scherzer are long forgotten. A slow start to the season turned out to be just that — a slow start. Since then, Scherzer has been on fire, and he’s getting hot at the right time.
Over his last 15 starts, Scherzer is 8-5 with a 2.72 ERA. He’s been especially dominant over his last seven starts, posting four wins and a 1.55 ERA.
His numbers on the season are once again starting to resemble the perennial Cy Young candidate the Nationals signed for $210 million prior to last season.
In 19 starts, Scherzer is 10-6 with a 3.03 ERA. His 164 strikeouts are the most in all of baseball, and both his ERA and WHIP (0.96) are better than his career average.
As the Nationals head into the second half of the season, there’s no longer any doubt about what Scherzer can bring to this team in 2016. Scherzer is on a roll and so are the Nationals. Both have gotten hot at the right time, and both will look to do great things in the second half.