6. Mad Max turned in some of the most dominant performances of all time.
Two no-hitters, a near perfect game, at least three more legitimate shots at a no-hitter. Yep, Max Scherzer was worth the price of admission for the Nationals in 2015. Scherzer threw two no-hitters without allowing a walk, the only pitcher in league history to ever do such a thing. He recorded two 100 Game Scores in a single season, the only pitcher to do so. Scherzer’s first no-hitter was a 97 Game Score. That makes him one of only three pitchers with three 95-plus Game Scores in a single season — Nolan Ryan and Walter Johnson being the other two. In Scherzer’s three best games of the season, he pitched 27 innings, allowed a single bloop hit and one hit batter, and struck out 43. Not a bad way to debut in a new city.
All that work may have taken a toll on Scherzer, as his ERA climbed from its lowest point of 1.76 in late June to 3.03 by early September. The right-hander did throw a career high in innings and complete games, and started to wear down in the second half. With a slightly improved bullpen in 2016, the Nationals can cut down on Scherzer’s innings early in the year and keep him firing on all cylinders deep into September.