The Washington Nationals ace won two esurance awards. Max Scherzer won Best Pitcher and Best Performance for his 20-strikeout night.
The pitcher brought home two more Major League Baseball-sanctioned trophies to go along with his recent National League Cy Young award and his matching honor from the Internet Baseball Writers of America.
Scherzer claimed the esurance Award for Best Pitcher and Best Performance. More than an only media voted award, fans, front office staff, retired players and members of the Society of American Baseball Research, or SABR, had the chance to take part.
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Beating out Cleveland Indians starter Corey Kluber and Boston Red Sox ace Rick Porcello for the honor, Scherzer capped his amazing 2016 campaign. The ace behind Washington’s successful NL East division crown, in 34 starts he went 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA.
What makes this award special is it is partially a peer vote. Scherzer’s league-leading 284 strikeouts, WHIP of 0.968 and 5.07 strikeouts-per-walk impressed older players and baseball insiders alike. This marks the fourth straight season he has finished in the top five in the Cy Young vote, winning the American League version with the Detroit Tigers in 2013.
Scherzer’s 20-strikeout game earned the Best Performance Award. Against his old team, the Detroit Tigers, he fanned 20 for the second time in his career. On May 11, he pitched his lone complete game of the season. He scattered six hits, two runs and zero walks. Because he owns such fine control, he needed only 119 pitches.
The lone Tiger starter not to fan was Victor Martinez. Of Scherzer’s 119 throws, a whopping 96 were strikes. Tiger hitters swung and missed 31 times. Old friend and Detroit starter Jordan Zimmerman drew five empty swings on his 106-pitch night. On that Wednesday night at Nationals Park, Scherzer was dealing.
Although these awards do not carry the prestige of the BBWAA, as Scherzer finishes his career these honors help build his case towards enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Now preparing for his third season with the Nationals, these are the moments giving you the fans for a bigger celebration in 2017. An honor.