Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals has been named National League Player of the Week for June 15th-21st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
On Saturday, Scherzer tossed the second no-hitter of the 2015 season, firing 9.0 shutout innings in a 6-0 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. The right-hander was within one out of a perfect game when a 3-2 slider clipped Pirates pinch-hitter Jose Tabata in the elbow. It would be the only runner to reach base for the Pirates as Scherzer subsequently retired Josh Harrison on a fly ball to seal the no-hit bid. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Major League no-hitter in which only one batter reached base on a hit-by-pitch occurred on June 10, 1997, when Miami's Kevin Brown no-hit the San Francisco Giants. Scherzer fanned 10 Bucs hitters, tossing 106 pitches in the outing, including 82 for strikes. The no-hit gem came on the heels of a complete-game, one-hitter for Scherzer, who notched a 16-strikeout performance in his previous start on June 14th at Milwaukee. The consecutive efforts marked just the fifth time in the modern era (since 1900) that a pitcher held opponents to one-or-fewer hits in back-to-back complete games. According to Elias, the only other pitchers to accomplish the feat were Jim Tobin of the Boston Braves (1944), Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds (1938), Dazzy Vance of the Brooklyn Robins (1925) and Howard Ehmke of the Boston Red Sox (1923). Scherzer earned his eighth win of the season with the no-no, which saw his ERA drop to a Major League-best 1.76 (20 earned runs in 102.1 innings pitched). The 30-year-old veteran also currently leads the Majors with 123 strikeouts on the season, while his 102.1 innings pitched are tops in the NL. This is his second career weekly award, having won previously for the week of June 17- 23, 2013 during his Cy Young Award-winning campaign as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Cincinnati's Todd Frazier (.320, 6 R, 5 HR, 9 RBI, .960 SLG); Jason Heyward (.444, 12 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .741 SLG, .464 OBP) and John Lackey (2-0, 1.80 ERA, 9 SO, 15.0 IP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Chicago's Anthony Rizzo (.333, 6 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI, .916 SLG); Justin Turner (.435, 7 R, 10 H, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 1.087 SLG, .480 OBP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Atlanta's Jason Grilli (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 SV, 4 SO, 4.0 IP).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Max Scherzer will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.