ATLANTA - It doesn’t rank with the back-to-back Cy Young Awards he owns, but the back-to-back National League Pitcher of the Month awards Max Scherzer now owns could help his cause to win a third straight Cy Young.
Scherzer was named NL Pitcher of the Month for May this afternoon, this honor coming on the heels of his comparable award following an equally dominant April.
The Nats ace went 4-0 with a 2.21 ERA and 63 strikeouts in six starts in May, numbers deemed by voters to be better than the 5-0 record, 1.54 ERA and 30 strikeouts in six starts by Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb.
Scherzer’s dominant May came after he went 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA and 57 strikeouts in six April starts, further evidence of his consistent excellence throughout the season to date.
“I’m pitching with all four, five pitches, and I’m throwing the curveball for strikes,” he said. “When I can buy strikes with that curveball, that just lets everything else play up.”
Scherzer managed to maintain his performance despite the loss of catcher Matt Wieters to a hamstring injury, quickly developing a rapport with 24-year-old Pedro Severino, who has been behind the plate for each of his last four starts.
“Sevy’s been doing a great job filling in for Wieters’ injury, and I think we’re really getting on the same page,” Scherzer said. “We’re starting to understand how we should be sequencing guys, and we really have a good thing going.”
While Scherzer won the award in the NL, former teammate Justin Verlander took home American League Pitcher of the Month honors, going 3-2 with an 0.86 ERA and 50 strikeouts for the Astros. And former Nationals reliever Blake Treinen earned his first career AL Reliever of the Month award after posting an 0.59 ERA and 10 saves in 10 attempts for the Athletics.