Washington Nationals: 10 greatest individual seasons

rjuckett
Washington Nationals
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MAX SCHERZER 2017

Picking the best Max Scherzer season is the same as selecting a favorite vintage wine. You cannot go wrong with any year, but 2017 topped his three in DC.

His three seasons in Washington bought him a day in the Cooperstown sun five years after his retirement. Two Cy Young awards, a 50-25 record and two top-10 finishes in the MVP vote are outstanding. Toss in a 20-K game and a pair of no-hitters and you hit legendary status.

How does his 2017 top that? Start with a career-best 0.907 WHIP. Add an H/9 rate of 5.7 and a 2.51 ERA and you begin to understand. Scherzer was flat-out dominant in 29 of his 31 starts. You could say he was “immaxxulate.”

There are seasons when pitchers find a comfort level where they reach another level. Scherzer might face the New York Mets on a given night, but his biggest opponent in 2017 was history.

From stalking the mound to grunting after a pitch as if he was serving match point at Wimbledon, Scherzer intimidated hitters and coaches like no other. The slash line against him? Try .178/.247/.319. His ERA+ was 177 while the OPS+ against him was 51.

In 15 games, Scherzer whiffed double-digits. May 26, a warm night at home against the San Diego Padres, he struck out 13 over 8.2 innings. He scattered three hits and a walk with the lone run coming off a solo shot from Ryan Schimpf.

Forget October, Scherzer’s starts in 2017 were must-see.

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