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by Kyle Brostowitz
Following his first career no-hitter on Saturday — and on the heels of 18.0 consecutive scoreless, one-hit frames — Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer earned the National League Player of the Week award on Monday. Major League Baseball made the announcement on MLB Network.
Scherzer did not allow a hit while striking out ten Pittsburgh Pirates en route to the second no-hitter in Nationals history (2005-present) and the fourth no-hitter in Washington D.C. baseball history. It was the second no-hitter in Major League Baseball this season.
Scherzer was perfect through 8.2 innings before hitting Pirates’ pinch hitter Jose Tabata in the left elbow. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Major League Baseball no-hitter in which only one batter reached base, and did so on a hit-by-pitch, was thrown by Kevin Brown, June 10, 1997 at San Francisco.
Combining Saturday’s effort with his one-hit shutout on June 14 at Milwaukee, in which he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, Scherzer has allowed just three baserunners (hit, walk, hit-by-pitch) while striking out 26 batters over his last two starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Scherzer is the fifth pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900) and the first since Jim Tobin (Boston Braves, 1944) to allow one hit or fewer in back-to-back complete games.
This is the second Player of the Week award of Scherzer’s career. He also earned Player of the Week honors on June 24, 2013 as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
Scherzer, who took home NL Pitcher of the Month honors for May, joins Bryce Harper (May 11-17, 2015; May 18-24, 2015), Jordan Zimmermann (Sept. 22-28, 2014; June 2-8, 2014), Adam LaRoche (Sept. 1-7, 2014), Jayson Werth (June 30-July 6, 2014), Ryan Zimmerman (July 16-22, 2012; Aug. 15-21, 2011; July 30-Aug. 5, 2007), Stephen Strasburg (June 7-13, 2010), Josh Willingham (July 27-Aug. 2, 2009), Cristian Guzman (Aug. 25-31, 2008), and Nick Johnson (May 31-June 6, 2005) as honorees.