Max Scherzer was on a boat, in the middle of the ocean, according to the Washington Nationals’ PR team, when he learned that he was named the 2016 NL Cy Young Award winner.
His friends with him on the boat showered the 32-year-old righty with champagne as they celebrated the fact that he became the sixth pitcher in major league history to win the Cy Young in both leagues after he’d previously won in the American League in 2013 when he was with the Detroit Tigers.
“Amazing, I’m with all my friends,” Scherzer said on the MLB Network broadcast. “We just sprayed champagne everywhere. It’s such an accomplishment. There are so many people to thank.
“All my teammates, for going out there and competing the whole season, everything they did [day in] and day out to support me. I can’t thank them enough for everything that they did.”
Scherzer went (20-7) overall, posting a 2.96 ERA, a 3.24 FIP, 56 walks (2.21 BB/9) and 284 Ks (11.19 K/9) in 34 starts and 228 1⁄3 innings pitched, finishing the year at 5.6 fWAR.
Scherzer received 25 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, running away with the CYA in spite of the solid, impressive seasons put together by the other two finalists, Chicago Cubs’ starters Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester.
“I’d trade my Cy Young for what Lester and Hendricks have, and that World Series ring,” Scherzer said, “but to have it right now, to have this award, means a lot to me and I really believe in all the teammates we have coming back and what we’re going to be able to do, I really expect big things out of next year.”
“The entire Lerner family extends our hearty congratulations to Max on this tremendous honor,” Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner said in a press release on the award tonight.
“We have felt a connection to Max from his very first day in a Nationals uniform and the pride we felt then has only continued to grow with each historic feat he accomplishes. We are honored that he is the first Cy Young winner in our history, and look forward with great anticipation to what future heights his career in Washington will reach.”
“This is a truly incredible achievement for Max,” President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo added.
“When you look at the players who’ve preceded him in winning a Cy Young award in both leagues, you realize just what a tremendous accomplishment this is, and we are so proud to call him one of our own. On behalf of the entire Washington Nationals organization, we are thrilled for Max. We see every five days just how exceptional his talent is, and we’re honored to see the rest of baseball recognize that as well – and for the second time in the last four years. We look forward to what is to come as he leads our staff in 2017 and beyond.”
Scherzer joins Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay as the only pitchers to win the Cy Young in each league.