The Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer signed a $210 million contract to join the Nation’s Capital and it’s possible that he’s far outperformed even the loftiest of expectations that come with that kind of contract. I’m not just talking about two no-hitter’s in year one or even his 20 strikeout game last season, remarkable feats no doubt, but each and every time he takes the hill he carries with him an arsenal and a presence that is unmatched my any other in the game.
Scherzer was just named the National League Pitcher of the Month for June after he led the majors in ERA (0.99), opponent’s batting average (.114), opponent’s on-base percentage (.187), opponent’s slugging percentage (.195) and WHIP (0.55) over five starts. Scherzer also picked up where he left off in his first July start tossing seven shutout innings on Sunday night in St. Louis picking up the victory while racking up 12 punch outs. The defending Cy Young Award winner was just named to his fifth straight All-Star Game where the rigthy is most deserving of starting the game in Miami for the National League. Scherzer leads all qualified NL pitchers in innings (120 2/3), strikeouts per nine (12.16), WHIP (0.77) and most importantly, ERA at 1.94 with a 10-5 record and NL best 163 K’s only trailing Boston’s Chris Sale for the Major League lead.
Max Scherzer is the best, most dominant, most imposing and the most must-see pitcher in baseball, and he has been for some time. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has done something that only five other men have done in the history of the game, and that is win the award in both leagues. Not only has Mad Max won the award for best pitcher in both leagues, but he has flat out dominated lineups while he was a member of the Detroit Tigers and has done the same and some with the Nationals. The 32-year-old possesses a career 135-74 record with a 3.29 ERA and 2,044 strikeouts. Over five seasons with Detroit, Scherzer went 82-35 with a 3.52 ERA and racked up over a thousand strikeouts against power-heavy American League lineups. Now over his two and a half seasons with Washington, Scherzer is 44-24 with a 2.68 ERA a 0.91 WHIP and 723 strikeouts. Scherzer has also shown promising results in the postseason unlike many others “in the conversation” for the game’s best pitcher, posting a 4-4 record with a 3.74 ERA and 92 whiffs over 74.2 postseason innings. While he has yet to win a World Series championship, it is through no fault of his own and was dominant over two postseason starts for the Nats last fall.
Now to Scherzer the pitcher beyond just the numbers, all though they tell a pretty convincing story, I might add. Scherzer is a lunatic, and in a good way. First off, try stepping into the batter’s box against a guy who throws a mid 90’s fastball consistently with amazing movement paired with a one of the all-time great devastating sliders and can drop a tantalizing changeup on hitters from time-to-time just because he can. Pair the all-time stuff Scherzer has in his repertoire with the mantra and mystique by which the right-hander carries himself and it’s easy to see why he reigns supreme. I’m not even referring to the different colored eyes Scherzer has either, all though those are pretty intimidating in their own right. Scherzer has been seen shouting, yelling and swearing at himself like a man that should be locked away in a padded cell inside an insane asylum, striking fear into the hearts of even the toughest and most powerful of hitters. Mad Max also stalks the mound after strikeouts like a lion hunting a wounded gazelle in the Serengeti, after all that is what the King of the Jungle should do. Max Scherzer is the King of the Diamond.
Want further proof of just how dominant and imposing Max Scherzer is? Check out this highlight clip put together by the Baseball Vault of Scherzer from his 2016 Cy Young campaign. This guy really is something special.
Max Scherzer is without a shadow of a doubt in my mind the best in baseball. No disrespect to Clayton Kershaw or even Chris Sale, but I’ll take Max Scherzer ten times out of ten. He’s a rare breed of starting pitcher that each time he takes the mound something special can very well occur. Be it a no-hitter, perfect game or 20-plus strikeout game, that type of feeling only comes around among the game’s greats such as Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez. Max Scherzer is entering the same class as the all-time greats with what he has done on the hill over the last eight-plus seasons. Scherzer is the best in the world at what he does.
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