Seemingly every single start, Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer is doing something incredible. He did it again on Friday night.
His start on Friday was no different as he shut out the Miami Marlins over six innings, in usual dominant fashion. His ERA is now second in the NL at 2.11 but leads the league in strikeouts with 234, WHIP at 0.89 and wins with 16.
He’s well on his way to a third Cy Young award in a row, and fourth in his career. But his performances in the batter’s box and all his intangibles showing up at every opportunity add to his legitimate MVP case.
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There’s no doubt about it, he’s shone with the bat, and added to that with a 1 for 2 performance in which he narrowly missed out on a home run.
Entering the night, he led the National League in bWAR and fWAR over fellow NL East aces Jacob deGrom and Aaron Nola. Despite this, it’s still likely that voters will undervalue pitchers, leaving him just short in the MVP race.
But Nats fans know more than anyone how valuable in, and how he would fully deserve the MVP award.
Wieters swinging a red-hot stick
Matt Wieters is one of the Nationals hottest hitters right now. No really, he is. Over the last seven days, he has a batting line of .364/.423/.545 and added a homer to his recent streak.
Some recent mechanical changes he’s made have paid huge dividends, allowing him to swing much quicker. And the results are evident.
While the surge seems too little too late in his Nats career, it’s better late than never. In the unlikely event that the team claws its way back, they’ll need Wieters swinging a hot bat.
Harper well on his way to correcting his batting stats
Another day after the All-Star Game, another day where Bryce Harper raked with the bat. On Friday he collected his second straight three-hit game, as well as his 500th career RBI.
It was a huge career milestone for someone who constantly gets the unwarranted criticism of never having a 100 RBI season. And if he continues on his current pace, he’ll finally smash the 100 RBI mark in 2018.
Somehow, despite where he was at the break, those pace numbers are genuinely MVP type figures. The batting average might be a little low, but everything else is elite. Certain people in baseball were far too quick to write him off, and now he’s back to his old self.
The Washington Nationals send Tommy Milone to the mound on Saturday to try to follow in the footsteps of Max Scherzer. While he may not do that, if he can keep them in the game, Wei-Yin Chen is hardly tough competition and could give up several runs.