Max Scherzer is a 6-foot-3, 37-year-old right-handed pitcher from St. Louis, Missouri— and he is also the greatest baseball player in the history of the Washington Nationals.
The Early Years
Scherzer was taken 11th-overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2006 draft after a few successful years at the University of Missouri, during which he received the Big-12 Conference Pitcher of the Year award, Second-Team All-American honors, made the USA Baseball National Team, led the Big-12 in earned run average twice, and broke a school record for strikeouts in a season.
He played two years of Major League ball in the desert before a three-team trade sent him to the Detroit Tigers, where he remained for five years and made All-Star teams in 2013 and 2014; he also won the American League’s Cy Young Award in 2013 after going 21-3, notching the most wins in the league and a 2.90 ERA in the process.
Arrival in Washington
Scherzer was a hot commodity during the offseason heading into 2015, with many clubs around the league pursuing his signature in free agency. After mulling several offers, the Tigers’ former ace signed a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals, a hefty contract that he has managed to outperform during his time in the nation’s capital.
Running down Scherzer’s list of accomplishments, it is easy to see why he is loved by fans of the Nats and baseball in general. The 14-year veteran has made eight All-Star teams, made the All-MLB First Team, led the league in wins four times, led the league in strikeouts three times, dealt two no-hitters and two immaculate innings received three Cy Young’s, and won a World Series.
Washington’s legend also holds the record for most strikeouts in a nine-inning game (20) and most consecutive seasons with at least 250 strikeouts (five).
One of Scherzer’s most ridiculous stats is that in 41% of his appearances for the Nationals, he has gone at least six innings and allowed less than one earned run. This level of consistent performance is a major reason that he made the National League All-Star team every year he was in DC, minus a shortened 2020 season during the pandemic.
Scherzer’s Legacy in DC
A career 182-97 and 3.19 ERA performer, Scherzer has gone 92-47 with a 2.48 in the red, white, and blue. Again, excluding the 2020 season, he has produced an ERA 3.00 in all seven of his DC campaigns.
For all of his statistical achievements, the crowning moments in Scherzer’s career were winning the 2019 NL pennant and World Series, the first in the franchise’s history. During that postseason, the Nats’ main man went 3-0 with a 2.40 ERA, striking out 37 batters in 30 innings.
As the trade deadline continues to grow tantalizingly closer and teams around the league scramble to land trades for the best players in baseball, it seems as if Scherzer’s time in DC is up. He leaves behind an incredible legacy that positions him as the best player in the history of the organization, ahead of names like Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, and Stephen Strasburg.
The Missouri natives’ time in DC will be synonymous with Cy Young awards, All-Star starts, but above all, madness in the streets of the capital, after he helped to deliver the first World Series to Washington.
Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.