Washington Nationals: Top 5 Seasons by a Pitcher in History

mweyrich
Oct 7, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on from the dugout before game one of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 7, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on from the dugout before game one of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 11, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) is doused with water after striking out an MLB record 20 batters against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) is doused with water after striking out an MLB record 20 batters against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Max Scherzer, 2016

Stats: 34 games (34 starts), 228.1 innings pitched, 20-7 record, 2.96 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 0.968 WHIP, 284 strikeouts, 56 walks, 31 home runs, and an opponent’s slash line of .199/.254/.365

Awards: All-Star (Cy Young? Silver Slugger? MVP votes?)

"“I used to get bugged watching him on TV when he was with the Tigers, but I love him on my team, cause he walks around and stuff, it’s like he’s out there by himself kind of. He don’t care about TV, he don’t care about how he looks, he don’t care about nothing other than winning and getting the hitter out.” – Dusty Baker on Scherzer (h/t Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)"

Max Scherzer’s 2016 season may not be the greatest season ever tossed by a National, but it is the closest any of them have coming to winning the Cy Young. Results have yet to be released, but the numbers don’t lie: Mad Max is the favorite. In addition to leading the National League in WAR, wins, WHIP, innings pitched, and strikeouts, Scherzer also became the third pitcher ever to rack up 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.

Scherzer was unquestionably the ace of the staff in 2016. Roark put together a strong campaign and Strasburg had a historic first half before injuries unraveled him after the All-Star Break, but Scherzer outpitched both of them. It’s odd to think that when the Washington Nationals signed him, writers called the team’s rotation an embarrassment of riches. Now, the team would not be where they are today without him.

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