Following a month in which he went 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA (7 ER/39.0 IP) and 57 strikeouts against just nine walks, Nationals right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer was named the National League Pitcher of the Month on Wednesday. Major League Baseball made the announcement on MLB Network.
Scherzer, 33, led the National League in strikeouts (57) and wins (5). 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). He recorded four 10+ strikeout games, tied with Houston’s Gerrit Cole for the most in Major League Baseball during the first month.
In three starts from April 9 through April 20, Scherzer allowed just seven hits in 71 at-bats, yielding an opponent slash line of .099/.169/.183. He struck out 30 batters and issued just four walks during this stretch of games. On April 9 against Atlanta, he tossed his ninth career complete game (fifth career shutout) to end Washington’s five-game losing streak. On April 14, he struck out 11 batters in 7.0 innings of two-run ball as the Nationals topped the Colorado Rockies, snapping the club’s three-game losing streak.
Scherzer’s award is the first monthly award for the Nationals in 2018 after the club took home four awards in 2017: Ryan Zimmerman (April Player of the Month), Max Scherzer (June Pitcher of the Month), Stephen Strasburg (Sept. Pitcher of the Month) and Sean Doolittle (Sept. Reliever of the Month).
This award marks the third taken home by a Nationals player so far in 2018. Scherzer was named Player of the Week on April 16 and Adam Eaton won the first National League Player of the Week Award on April 2.