ORLANDO, Fla. -- It was hard for Max Scherzer to grasp the elite company he joined when he was named the 2017 National League Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday night on MLB Network.Scherzer won the award for the second year in a row, capturing his third career Cy Young,
ORLANDO, Fla. -- It was hard for Max Scherzer to grasp the elite company he joined when he was named the 2017 National League Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday night on MLB Network.
Scherzer won the award for the second year in a row, capturing his third career Cy Young, putting him in an exclusive group with some of the all-time greats. The Nationals right-hander is one of 10 pitchers to win three Cy Youngs.
How did Scherzer feel about joining the group?
"I don't know, that's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said with a laugh. "At this moment, I'm on cloud nine."
The award comes at a special time for Scherzer, who will soon be a first-time father. His wife, Erica, is due with the couple's first child in a week, and Scherzer said he thought there was a chance he would be at the hospital when he found out the Cy Young results.
"Little Brooke is going to be coming on the way, so this is an exciting time for us," Scherzer said. "We're really pumped."
• Complete 2017 awards coverage
:: NL Cy Young Award voting totals ::
Scherzer won the Cy Young by receiving 27 of the 30 first-place votes. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw finished second and Scherzer's Nationals teammate, Stephen Strasburg, finished third.
Scherzer was even more dominant in 2017 than he was when he won the award in '16. He finished with a career-best 2.51 ERA, along with a 0.90 WHIP and a 2.90 Fielding Independent Pitching mark.
In July, Scherzer started the All-Star Game for the NL. He led all NL pitchers with 268 strikeouts and had 7.3 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball-Reference.com). His peers voted him as the NL's Outstanding Pitcher in last week's Players Choice Awards.
"Any time you win a Cy Young Award, it's a special feeling, it's a special moment," Scherzer said. "There's so many people that you have to thank for putting you in this position. ... This one is special."
Of the three Cy Young finalists, Scherzer was the only one to throw more than 200 innings. Both Strasburg and Kershaw missed time with injuries, so Scherzer's stability was a major reason he had the edge over them.
However, Scherzer battled his own nagging injuries. He entered Spring Training unable to pitch because of a finger injury. He had a rare trip to the disabled list in August with an injured neck, then his postseason debut was pushed back due to a tweaked hamstring.
Scherzer gave a nod to the Nationals' training staff for helping him get through the season.
"To be able to stay on the field, that's the result of all the hard work of [the training staff]," Scherzer said. "Everybody had a role into keeping me on the field, and I'm very thankful for all their hard work because without their hard work, I probably wouldn't be here."
• A typical day for Scherzer in 7 photos
Of the nine other pitchers who have won at least three Cy Young Awards, seven are in the Hall of Fame (all but Roger Clemens and Kershaw).
"When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point in time," Scherzer said. "I mean, it's such an unbelievable feeling, unbelievable moment, that you really won't process this until about a year later."
You can now make your voice heard by voting for Best Pitcher in the Esurance MLB Awards, where baseball legends, media, front-office personnel and fans come together to pick the winners, with postseason accomplishments factored in. Then tune in Friday at 8 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com as this year's best stars and moments are revealed.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.