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Nationals' starter Max Scherzer turns 31: Happy Birthday, Max!

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Washington Nationals' starter Max Scherzer was described by Mike Rizzo as a "young, 30-year-old arm with a lot of mileage left on the tires" when the Nats signed Scherzer to a seven-year deal this winter. He's now a young, 31-year-old right-hander.

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Mike Rizzo addressed the fact that the Washington Nationals were giving a 30-year-old pitcher a seven-year deal worth $210M in Max Scherzer's introductory press conference in the nation's capital.

"He's a durable pitcher," Rizzo said.

"If I'm not mistaken, never been on the DL in the last five years and takes the ball whenever it's given and he's a horse.

"He's one of the top, elite players at his position and certainly one of the best players in the game, so he's paid like it and he performs like it..." -Mike Rizzo on Max Scherzer on MLB Network Radio

He's got the makeup and character to take things deep into games if asked to and for a 30-year-old pitcher has thrown really very little [an] amount of innings and pitches for a pitcher that's had the success that he's had at the age that he [is].

"So we feel that we've got a young, 30-year-old arm with a lot of mileage left on the tires and a guy that is going to take us into competitive games for a very, very long time."

Through 20 starts this season, Scherzer is (10-8) with a 2.33 ERA, a 2.35 FIP, 16 walks (1.01 BB/9) and 166 Ks (10.45 K/9) in 143 IP over which he's held opposing hitters to a .193/.224/.318 line against.

He's thrown a complete game shutout and a no-hitter already this season.

So... Rizzo was asked in an MLB Network Radio interview last week, is Scherzer perhaps underpaid?

"No, I do not think he's underpaid," Rizzo laughed. "Certainly not."

"He's one of the top, elite players at his position and certainly one of the best players in the game, so he's paid like it and he performs like it, so I think he's fairly compensated and has given us every dime that we've expected."

Scherzer's last start as a 30-year-old took place this weekend in Pittsburgh's PNC Park, where he faced off the against the Pirates he no-hit last month. It didn't go as well as last time around, however, with the right-hander giving up seven hits and five runs all of them on home runs in the first three-home run game against him since 2011.

"I understand what I need to differently and what I'm going to do differently going forward. I think I'm going to get back to my strengths..." -Max Scherzer after start vs Pirates this weekend

"I felt good, just made some mistakes," Scherzer said after the outing. "Just didn't locate the ball on some pitches as well as I needed to and they made me pay for it. They know what I got and that's how it goes sometimes."

Scherzer said he would learn from the outing and get back at it next time his turn in the rotation comes around.

"I understand what I need to differently and what I'm going to do differently going forward," he said.

"I think I'm going to get back to my strengths and get back to what I do best. Just have a little conversation with a couple people and get going on the same page again."

Sounds like a wise 31-year-old.

Happy Birthday, Max.

Wish him a Happy Birthday @Max_Scherzer on the Twitter.

Happy bday Max