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Strikeouts are sexy, but Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer’s reliability is what makes him great

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Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer takes the ball every fifth day, something that can’t be taken for granted these days.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball.

The Washington Nationals’ $210 million man has won two Cy Young Awards, made four All-Star teams, tossed two no-hitters and has a 20-strikeout game on is resume.

Since the start of the 2012 season — the year before Scherzer won his first Cy Young — no one in baseball has racked up more Ks than Mad Max (1,334).

Yet strikeouts aren’t the only category Scherzer leads over that span.

The Nats’ right-hander also has the most innings pitched (1,120) since Opening Day of that 2012 campaign, never once making an appearance on the disabled list.

For the rest of baseball, however, injuries have plagued starting pitchers in the early goings of the 2017 season.

Noah Syndergaard, Corey Kluber, Cole Hamels, Felix Hernandez, Madison Bumgarner, Aaron Sanchez and Rich Hill all currently sit on the DL — just to name a few.

When the Nationals signed Scherzer to his seven-year deal prior to the 2015 season, skeptics pointed to the fact that he will be 36 years old by the time his contract with the team is up as a big red flag.

His performance over the first two-plus years of that contract has kept the critics quiet so far, but his reliability is what’s going to keep them that way.

Scherzer takes the ball every fifth day, expects to throw over 100 pitches each start and can be relied on for six innings or more.

Other pitchers certainly rival Scherzer when it comes to the discussion for the best starter in the game, but very few can boast the extremely valuable combination of consistency and dominance that he provides.

Scherzer still has five years ahead of him in a Nationals uniform, and while he did come at a hefty price, make no mistake: he’s worth every penny.