Washington Nationals: Five must-watch players in 2018

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Second baseman Trea Turner
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Second baseman Trea Turner /
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SP Max Scherzer

If it feels like Scherzer is on no-hitter watch nearly once a month, it’s because he is.

Scherzer has carried a no-no into the sixth inning on 12 different occasions in 101 starts with the Nationals. He has finished off two no-hitters with Washington and tied the record with another 20-strikeout game. He also paced the NL in strikeouts in each of the last two seasons, and won two straight NL Cy Young awards to bookend his AL version.

So what’s left to accomplish?

Well, besides finally leading the Nationals to a postseason series win, Scherzer is on a chase for history his season. No one has captured three straight Cy Young awards since Randy Johnson won four in a row from 1999-2002 with Arizona and another Cy for Scherzer would make him just the fifth pitcher in history with at least four.

Scherzer is now a Hall of Fame lock, but the rest of his career will determine how we refer to him two decades from now.

Barring a catastrophic injury, Scherzer should cross 2,000 career innings, 300 career starts, 150 career victories, and potentially even 2,400 strikeouts this season.

It’s incredibly rare to watch a future Hall of Famer while that player is still in his prime, but Scherzer’s run of dominance since 2013 has put us in that exceptional position. He is appointment viewing every night as he chases career benchmarks and posts sparkling individual performances.