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Nationals’ Max Scherzer talks winning second Cy Young; validating hard work

Max Scherzer became just the sixth pitcher in major league history to win Cy Young awards in both leagues when he was named the 2016 NL winner last night.

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals - Game Five Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Max Scherzer was on a boat in the waters off the British Virgin Islands, surrounded by his old college friends and their wives when he learned live on the MLB Network that he had been voted the 2016 NL Cy Young Award winner. He was immediately doused with champagne.

“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.”

“For the writers to choose me, and what I was able to accomplish this year, I’m so grateful, so humbled.”

Once he was done celebrating, Scherzer talked to reporters about winning the Cy Young for the second time in his career after he first earned the award with the Detroit Tigers in 2013.

“Having this be the second one, I don’t know, for some reason this just means so much more to me,” Scherzer said.

“It just verifies everything I try to go out there and set out to achieve,” he explained.

“By winning the second one, it confirms that everything I try to do works. And the fact that when that works and you have a bunch of teammates behind you, playing at the same level as you do, you can accomplish anything that you want.

“When we work together as teammates, we can accomplish anything. I know we didn’t win the World Series and that was my ultimate goal, but being able to pick up this second Cy Young really means a lot and I owe it to my teammates.”

Scherzer finished the second season of his 7-year/$210M deal with Washington at (20-7), with 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 13 IP for the NL East Champion Nationals, over which he was worth 5.6 fWAR.

Asked what he was most proud of, Scherzer said, “It’s really hard to define it in one sentence or one word.

“For me it’s a combination of everything. From the coaching staff, how they prepared us, what I was able to do with both [Wilson] Ramos and [Jose] Lobaton, everybody is together, in unison, competing at the same level.”

“You have to be able to go out there and execute pitches and I felt like I was able to do that consistently,” he said.

“I know I have things in my game that I would like to get better. There are things I would definitely like to get better at in 2017. But to win this award, there’s so much history into it, so much meaning into it. I appreciate everything, that the writers chose me over both [Jon] Lester and [Kyle] Hendricks. Because they both had phenomenal years, they did tremendous things, but to be able to win the award over those guys just means something amazing.”

Scherzer received 25 of the 30 first-place votes cast and ran away with the voting for the NL Cy Young.

In winning his second Cy Young in the National League, the 32-year-old right-hander became just the sixth pitcher to win the Cy Young in both leagues, joining the likes of Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay on that pretty exclusive list.