ATLANTA -- How has Max Scherzer followed up back-to-back National League Cy Young Awards in the past two seasons? By winning the first two NL Pitcher of the Month awards to start 2018.Scherzer added another accolade to his collection on Saturday, when he was named the NL's Pitcher of the
ATLANTA -- How has Max Scherzer followed up back-to-back National League Cy Young Awards in the past two seasons? By winning the first two NL Pitcher of the Month awards to start 2018.
Scherzer added another accolade to his collection on Saturday, when he was named the NL's Pitcher of the Month for May. He is the first pitcher to win back-to-back Pitcher of the Month awards to start a season since Houston's Dallas Keuchel in 2015.
Scherzer went 4-0 with a 2.21 ERA in six May starts, leading the Majors in strikeouts with 63 and all starters in strikeouts per nine innings (13.94) while issuing just 10 walks over 40 2/3 innings.
"I'm pitching with all four or five pitches," Scherzer said. "I'm throwing my curveball for strikes. When I can buy strikes with that curveball, that just lets everything else play up. … May was a good month, and I look forward to continuing to pitch well in June."
In four of his six starts in May, Scherzer reached double-digit strikeouts, capping it off with eight shutout innings and 12 K's in Washington's 2-0 victory against Baltimore on Wednesday.
That was also the 150th win of Scherzer's career, a milestone not lost on the 33-year old, especially when he considered that it was halfway to 300 wins.
"I'm basically coming in on 10 years of service time," Scherzer said. "To have really this only be the halfway point to 300, oh my God. How did those guys even [do that]? They pitched forever and just were good forever."
"Those 300 game winners that you watch -- Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux and [Roger] Clemens, it just puts it onto another level of just how dominant they were, not just for a couple seasons or a decade, but just there whole career. How many dominant years they had to have to be able to win 300 games is amazing."
While 300 wins might be out of reach for Scherzer, a third consecutive NL Cy Young Award is not. In 12 starts this season, he is 9-1 with a 1.92 ERA with a Major League-best 120 strikeouts in 79 2/3 innings. Yes, so far Scherzer is putting together an even better season than the previous two years, both of which ended with an NL Cy Young Award.
"There have been a few things that I've tried to get better at," Scherzer said. "It's still a work in progress. I don't want to share everything."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.