Max Scherzer was the only one of the Nationals’ four BBWAA award finalists to actually earn an award when he was named the 2016 NL Cy Young winner earlier this week.
It was the second Cy Young Award of the 32-year-old right-hander’s career, something he said validated the work he’s done to continue improving his game.
“Having this be the second one, I don’t know, for some reason this just means so much more to me,” Scherzer told reporters.
“It just verifies everything I try to go out there and set out to achieve.”
“By winning the second one, it confirms that everything I try to do works,” Scherzer continued.
“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 season (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 1⁄3 IP for the NL East Champion Nationals, over which he was worth 5.6 fWAR.
In winning his second Cy Young, Scherzer joined some pretty elite company, becoming the sixth pitcher in major league history to win the award in both leagues.
Earlier this season, of course, Scherzer joined another exclusive club, becoming just the fourth pitcher to record 20 Ks in a nine-inning game along with Roger Clemens (twice), Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson.
And that, of course, came after Scherzer joined another exclusive club with two no-hitters in his first season in D.C. in 2015. So what will Scherzer do next season? Lead the Nationals to the World Series, maybe?