This week’s spotlight is on the Washington Nationals’ chocolate syrup king, Max Scherzer. Over his last two starts, there has been no one hotter than Scherzer. On Friday night, Scherzer will try to follow up his first career no-hitter, and near perfect game which followed up a dominant one-hitter two starts ago. Scherzer will take the ball against the Philadelphia Phillies, and try to continue this torrid stretch of dominance.
Over his last two starts, Scherzer has pitched 18 innings allowing just one hit, one walk, and one questionable hit batter while striking out 26 hitters. Think about that, in his last two games Scherzer has essentially struck out an entire game’s worth of hitters. The 2013 AL Cy Young winner is positioning himself to take aim at the 2015 NL Cy Young award and dethroning Clayton Kershaw. If Scherzer does win the award, he would become the sixth pitcher to win the award in both leagues joining Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, and Roy Halladay with that distinction.
In addition to the Cy Young, if Scherzer is able to maintain this elite level of pitching, might it also put him in contention for the NL MVP Award as well? Last season saw Kershaw take home both NL awards, and in 2011 Scherzer saw his former teammate Justin Verlander turn the trick in the American League. But to this point, there really is no clear cut front-runner for the NL MVP which could open the door for Scherzer at season’s end.
But before that, Scherzer has also put himself in major consideration for starting the All-Star Game in a few weeks time as well. It would be his second All-Star Game start, and with it Scherzer would become the fifth pitcher to start the game for both leagues joining Clemens, Johnson, Halladay, and Vida Blue. With the type of groove that he is in, no hitter seems eager to step up to the plate against the chocolate one.
During this stretch, Scherzer is positioning himself to join some elite company if he is able to maintain this pace. The question now is, has Scherzer taken over as the best pitcher in the National League, or even in all of baseball? Max Scherzer will be in the spotlight to see how he can possibly back up two of the most impressive starts in a row since Johnny Vander Meer. The chocolate syrup will certainly be on stand-by as well.