Washington Nationals ace and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer is coming off a rough start against the Atlanta Braves, giving up six runs in four innings of work. But baseball fans had best believe he's still in the mix for top pitching honors for the third consecutive year.
Max Scherzer has given up a season-high 6 runs on 102 pitches over 4 innings tonight against the #Braves. As great as he’s been, he didn’t have much margin for error in the Cy Young race vs. Jacob deGrom. This one might have been the Cy separator.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) September 15, 2018
He has no margin for error in his remaining starts this season, but then again, neither does New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom. Yes, deGrom leads the way in ERA (1.78), but Scherzer has a better WHIP (0.91), more total innings (206.2) and more strikeouts (277) than his NL East counterpart.
Max Scherzer is the 4th pitcher in MLB history with five 250-strikeout seasons (Randy Johnson – 9, Nolan Ryan – 8, Roger Clemens – 5) pic.twitter.com/rBrqGEibk1— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 3, 2018
While today's fan and the modern voter for such awards don't like to use wins as the end-all-be-all -- and they're right about that -- the fact remains that the old school voter will look at a 17-7 record from Scherzer and give him an edge because deGrom has only eight wins compared to nine losses. Purists could be loathe to set such a precedent.
Despite his most recent outing down south, Scherzer is still in strong contention for the big prize. And if he can simply hold serve, one slip-up by deGrom could sway the vote in the Washington star's favor.