In his first year in Washington, ace Max Scherzer finished fifth in the National League Cy Young Award race as Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta won the trophy for the first time. Dodgers stud pitchers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw followed Arrieta in the voting, with Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole finishing just ahead of Scherzer.
Arrieta steadily improved as a starter since the Cubs acquired him from the Orioles two seasons ago. In 2015, he transformed into one of the game’s dominant pitchers, winning a major league-best 22 games with a 1.77 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He helped lead the Cubs to a wild card berth down the stretch by going 12-1 with a 0.75 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star break.
Scherzer, who won the 2013 American League Cy Young Award with the Tigers, was arguably the majors’ top pitcher through the first three months of the season. The 31-year-old tossed a one-hitter and no-hitter in back-to-back starts while earning the NL’s Pitcher of the Month honors in June.
But while Arrieta heated up in the second half, Scherzer struggled badly through August as the Nationals lost hold of the NL East lead. The right-hander went 0-3 with a disastrous 6.43 ERA over five starts in the month.
Scherzer rebounded to cap off his season in grand fashion, tossing another no-hitter in his final start. He became just the sixth pitcher in major league history to throw two no-hitters in a season and the first ever to accomplish the feat without walking a batter.
Scherzer fanned 17 in his second no-hitter, tying Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan for the most strikeouts ever in a no-no. He finished the season with a career-high 276 strikeouts, second only to Kershaw’s 301 in the majors.
Scherzer’s four complete games and three shutouts also tied Arrieta and Kershaw for most in the majors.
The Cubs are racking up the honors with Kris Bryant winning NL Rookie of the Year and Joe Maddon claiming NL Manager of the Year awards earlier this week.
Houston’s Dallas Keuchel won the AL Cy Young Award after going 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA.