In two starts and 16 innings on the mound over the last week, Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer gave up three hits, one walk, and two earned runs (1.31 ERA), striking out 21 batters, while holding opposing hitters to a combined .060/.078/.120 line against. It was enough to earn the 33-year-old right-hander the NL Player of the Week nod.
Scherzer tossed a complete game shutout against the Atlanta Braves, then gave up two runs early against the Colorado Rockies before setting down the final 20 batters he saw, striking out 11 of the 23 batters he faced overall in the outing.
Scherzer is the second National to take home an award this season, after Adam Eaton took home the NL Player of the Week award for the abbreviated opening week of the season.
In four starts overall the season, Scherzer, the NL Cy Young winner in each of the last two seasons, is (3-1) with a 1.33 ERA, a 1.65 FIP, four walks (1.33 BB/9), and 38 Ks (12.67 K/9) in 27 IP, holding opposing hitters to a combined .147/.182/.253 line against.
As the Nationals’ new manager Davey Martinez said after start No. 4 for Scherzer, what he’s seen early this season is Max being Max.
“He competes, whether it’s pitching, hitting, baserunning, he comes out ready to compete every day,” Martinez told reporters.
What’s really impressed him, Martinez said, is Scherzer’s ability to, “... keep guys off-balance, his ability to pitch up in the strike zone, all that takes into account. He’s really good. He’s not afraid to pitch in, which makes him very effective.”
Early in his fourth season in Washington, it’s been more of the same from Scherzer, and Major League Baseball acknowledged as much today.
Max Scherzer has been named @MLB’s NL Player of the Week.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 16, 2018
P.S. He stole a base this week. pic.twitter.com/RTqi1Uv5Ol