WASHINGTON -- In his first season with the Nationals, right-hander Max Scherzer quickly became the ace of Washington's pitching staff, a showing highlighted by two no-hitters. For his work in the second of those gems, Scherzer earned the Esurance MLB Award for Best Performance.
On Oct. 3, the big right-hander no-hit the Mets at Citi Field, following a June 20 no-no against Pittsburgh. Scherzer became the fifth pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season. Nolan Ryan (1973), Virgil Trucks ('52), Allie Reynolds ('51) and Johnny Vander Meer ('38) are the others. Roy Halladay tossed a pair of no-hitters in 2010, with one coming in the postseason.
Scherzer had 17 strikeouts in his no-no vs. the Mets, a Nationals single-game record. The 17 K's tied Ryan for the most punchouts in a no-hitter, and it set the record for the most strikeouts in a no-hit, no-walk game.
Other finalists for the award included Jake Arrieta's no-hitter -- the 14th in Cubs history -- and Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion, who hit three homers and drove in nine runs in a remarkable day at the plate.
In his first no-hitter, Scherzer struck out 10 Pirates for his second consecutive shutout. He lost a perfect game with two outs in the ninth, when he hit pinch-hitter Jose Tabata on the elbow on a 2-2 count.
Scherzer was the team leader in wins (14), strikeouts (276) and ERA (2.79) this past season.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five components, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.
Individual awards were presented for 22 separate categories, including Best Major Leaguer, Everyday Player, Bounceback Player, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer. Winners were also recognized for the year's Best Offensive Play, Defensive Play, Moment, Single-Game Performance, Social Media Post, Celebrity Fan and Fan Catch.
Manager and Executive winners will be announced at the Winter Meetings in December.
Nominees were judged on their bodies of work from the entire year -- from Opening Day through the postseason -- and selected after a careful review of all 30 clubs. Winners in all 24 categories receive a Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) trophy.