The Washington Nationals had a good run of getting pitchers in the Cy Young Award voting. Not one, not ever Max Scherzer broke the Top-10 this year.
If the Washington Nationals have had one thing over the past eight years, it has been a quality set of pitchers in the stable. Unfortunately the horses didn’t get let out in 2020 and for the first time in nine years the Nationals didn’t have a pitcher receive a vote for the Cy Young Award. Not even Max Scherzer.
Dating back to Gio Gonzalez’s pitching performance in 2012, the Nationals have had a pitcher garner Cy Young recognition every year until this year. Wow! Max Scherzer even won the award on two occasions.
Then as the team went 26-34 in the pandemic shortened season of 2020, nothing.
Scherzer, who was on the list five years running, sputtered to a 5-4 record with a 3.74 earned run average. This is the first time since joining the Nationals he has had an ERA out of the 2s. Mad Max has led the league in strikeouts three times since joining the Nationals. This year he ranked ninth. Twice he has led the league in innings pitched. This year he averaged less than six innings a start.
Stephen Strasburg has gotten Cy Young consideration three times during the eight year run as well. Coming off the 7 YR/$245M contract he signed before the season, expectations were high for immediate results. Stras made two starts this year and was lost for the season to injury.
Even Patrick Corbin is a guy who made back to back appearances on the Cy Young list before not getting any attention this year. Corbin was 2-7 and had career worsts in ERA and WHIP, while leading the league in hits allowed.
For the Washington Nationals to rebound in 2021 they will need a healthy and consistent starting rotation. Whether it was the start/stop/start during the COVID pandemic which messed with the Nationals pitchers or the fact they threw so many innings the year before during the World Series run, the bottom line is for this team to be successful, the Cy Young quality pitching needs to come back.
I expect you’ll see a Nationals pitcher on this list next year.