Max Scherzer went (5-1) in his first six starts in March/April, with a 1.62 ERA, nine walks, 57 Ks, and a .165/.227/.295 line against in 39 innings, earning himself the NL’s Pitcher of the Month award for his efforts.
Scherzer lost his second start of the month, but ended April with four straight wins, over which the 33-year-old righty had a 1.61 ERA, six walks (1.93 BB/9), 40 Ks (12.86 K/9), and a .128/.196/.245 line against in 28 innings.
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez praised Scherzer’s work before his April 25th start against the San Francisco Giants, comparing him to a former teammate who went on to have a Hall of Fame-worthy career.
“Whether we’re winning or losing,” Martinez said, “Max goes out there and competes, and he gives you a chance to win every time he goes out there, and that’s the beauty of Max. I played with one of the best pitchers, I think, that pitched in the game, [Greg] Maddux, and it was the same way. It’s hard to compare them, but I see Max every day, and he’s right up there being one of the best.”
As the Nationals noted in a press release on the award, Scherzer, “... led the National League in strikeouts (57) and wins (5),” in March/April, and, “... he also ranked in the top five in the National League in strikeouts per 9.0 IP (2nd, 13.15), ERA (4th, 1.62), WHIP (4th, .082), opp. AVG (T4th, .165) and opp. OBP (5th, .227),” and, “... recorded four 10+ strikeout games, tied with Houston’s Gerrit Cole for the most in Major League Baseball during the first month.”
Not a bad start to the 2018 campaign for the winner of back-to-back NL Cy Young awards.