Max Scherzer appears to have fixed himself! Over 34 innings pitched, across five starts, he allowed only two home runs after giving up five in six starts and 41 ⅓ IP in June and 10 in six starts and 42 ⅓ IP in May.
The end result was a 1.32 ERA in the month of July, which is the best of any of the 104 qualified MLB starters.
His low ERA was no fluke either. His July FIP (2.49) ranks 7th and is just below his 2.79 average from the last three years.
If he can keep those home runs under control, it is looking like “Mad Max” is back and scary as ever.
The rest of the Nationals rotation was not too shabby either.
Stephen Strasburg (2.08 ERA), Gio Gonzalez (2.70 ERA), and Tanner Roark (3.18 ERA) all got the job done very effectively.
Yes, the assorted 5th starters (Joe Ross, Lucas Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez) did struggle mightily with a combined 8.14 ERA, while averaging just over four innings per start, but overall the Nationals’ rotation still averaged a 3.10 ERA, by far the best in the majors in July.
If the top of this rotation stays solid for another two months then this Nats team will be very well positioned for a postseason run... at least on the pitching side of things.