Max Scherzer, Starting Pitcher, Washington Nationals, #31
Date of Birth: 7/27/1984
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
College: University of Missouri
Max Scherzer, starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals, was first drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003 but he opted for college instead. Three years later, he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He played in the Diamondbacks' minor league system for just a year before being called up to the major leagues in 2008. That year, he was primarily a relief pitcher, pitching 56.0 innings in 15 games and finishing the season with a 0-4 record and a 3.05 ERA.
Scherzer was a starting pitcher for the Diamondbacks in 2009. That year, he pitched 170.1 innings in 30 games and he finished the season with a 9-11 record and a 4.12 ERA. In December, 2009, the Diamondbacks traded him to the Detroit Tigers.
Scherzer had a good first year with the Tigers in 2010, finishing the season with a 12-11 record and a 3.50 ERA. The next year, he had a 15-9 record and a 4.43 ERA in 33 games. He had an even better season in 2012 when he finished with a 16-7 record and a 3.74 ERA.
In 2013, Scherzer had an outstanding season, winning the American League Cy Young award and leading the league in wins. He had a 2.90 ERA and a career high wins with 21 (to 3 losses).
Scherzer signed a one-year, $15.525 million contract with the Tigers in January, 2014. He had another strong season in 2014, finishing with an 18-5 record, 252 strikeouts to 63 walks, and a 3.15 ERA in 220.1 innings in 33 games. He didn't do well, however, in the postseason, pitching 7.1 innings in one game and giving up 7 hits and 5 runs, including 2 home runs, to finish with a 6.14 ERA.
Scherzer signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nationals on January 21, 2015. He had a strong first season with the Nationals, finishing the 2015 season with career highs in strikeouts (276 to 34 walks) and innings pitched (228.2) and a career low ERA of 2.79. He had a 14-12 record in 33 games.
In 2015, Scherzer pitched the first two no-hitters of his career. On June 20th, he pitched a complete game no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had 10 strikeouts, no walks, and he hit one batter in 106 pitches. He pitched his second complete game no-hitter on October 3rd against the New York Mets. With 109 pitches, he struck out 17 batters and gave up no walks. The only batter to reach base did so on an error by Scherzer's teammate Yunel Escobar.
Scherzer had another outstanding season in 2016, winning his second NL Cy Young award and becoming the sixth pitcher in MLB history to win the award in both leagues. He led all major league pitchers in strikeouts with 284 (to 56 walks) and he led the National League in wins with 20 (to 7 losses). On May 11, 2016, he tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game with 20. He finished the season with a 2.96 ERA in 228.1 innings in a career high 34 games. In the postseason, he gave up 10 hits, including 3 home runs, and 5 runs in 12.0 innings in 2 games.
Scherzer again proved to be one of the best pitchers in MLB in 2017, finishing with a 2.51 ERA in 31 games. He led the National League in strikeouts with 268 (to 55 walks) and he had 16 wins and 6 losses in 200.2 innings. In the postseason, he pitched 7.1 innings in 2 games (1 as a starter and 1 in relief) and he gave up 4 hits and 5 runs. He struck out 8 batters and walked 4.
Career pitching statistics for Scherzer through 2017 include:
- 305 games played
- 1,897.0 innings pitched
- 141-75 win-loss record
- 2,149 strikeouts to 534 walks
- 3.30 ERA