Nationals Reaction: Biggest Takeaways from 18-Inning Game

mweyrich
Jul 9, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy (20) during baseball game against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 9, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy (20) during baseball game against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

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Home runs may be on the rise in 2016, but that is still no excuse for a pitcher to enter the All-Star Break having given up 21 long balls on the season. Max Scherzer has struggled to keep the ball in the park since he signed with DC prior to last season. He’s allowed 48 home runs over the last year and a half, the highest total in the National League.

Just because he’s been serving up these homers, however, does not mean that Scherzer hasn’t been an effective pitcher. In addition to leading the NL in homers over that span, Mad Max has also struck out the second most batters (440), thrown the most innings (356.1), and accrued the fifth most wins (24) of any pitcher in the Senior Circuit. He has made the All-Star Team twice, thrown two no-hitters, and struck out 20 hitters in a single game.

With an elite fastball that spins more than anyone else’s in the game, Scherzer is able to blow hitters away with 97 miles per hour when he needs it. He also sports a slider, change-up, and curveball in his arsenal, giving him the luxury of keeping hitters constantly guessing as to which pitch he’s going to throw.

Scherzer didn’t just win the 2013 AL Cy Young Award because he can strike guys out, the former Tiger is a complete all-around pitcher that can take over a game when he needs to. Home runs or not, Max Scherzer is still an ace. Now giving him run support, that’s a whole other story…

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