Washington Nationals pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg were named Monday as finalists for the National League Cy Young Award.
Strasburg and Scherzer joins Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw as the three finalists. No other Nationals players or former manager Dusty Baker were finalists for any awards. Kershaw has won the award three times.
After winning the 2016 NL Cy Young, Scherzer led the NL in Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference with 7.6. Scherzer, 33, started this year’s All-Star game in Miami and led the NL with 268 strikeouts. He finished second with a career-low ERA (2.51), trailing only Kershaw’s 2.31.
Strasburg, on the other hand, was named as a finalist for the first time in his career. He was third in the NL in ERA with 2.52 and had a career-low 2.72 FIP, which measures a pitcher’s effectiveness at preventing home runs, walks and hit-by-pitches while causing strikeouts.
Scherzer went 16-6 in 200.2 innings pitched and 31 starts in 2017. He had a .902 WHIP. Scherzer is already a two-time Cy Young Award winner, having taken the honor in 2016 with the Nationals and in 2013 with the Detroit Tigers. He is trying to become the first pitcher in the National League to win back-to-back Cy Youngs since Kershaw in 2013-14.
Strasburg went 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 204 strikeouts in 175.1 innings pitched and 28 starts. He had never finished higher than ninth in the Cy Young balloting in his eight-year career. Despite spending time in late July on the disabled list, Strasburg’s 0.86 ERA after the All-Star break was best in baseball.
The finalists for the American League Rookie of the Year are outfielders Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles, Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox, and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees. First basemen Josh Bell of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers and shortstop Paul DeJong of the St. Louis Cardinals were the NL Rookie of the Year finalists.
Manager of the Year finalists in the American League are Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians, A.J. Hinch of the world champion Houston Astros and Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins. The National League Manager of the Year finalists are Bud Black of the Colorado Rockies, Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Dave Roberts of the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Baker, and his 95 wins, were not nominated. Last year, the Nationals had four players — Scherzer, Daniel Murphy, Trea Turner and Baker — were nominated in each of the four major categories.
For the American League Cy Young Award, the finalists are Cleveland Indians righty Corey Kluber, Boston Red Sox lefty Chris Sale, and New York Yankees righty Luis Severino.
The finalists for the AL Most Valuable Player Award are Judge, second baseman Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, and Cleveland Indians second baseman Jose Ramirez.
Judge will try to become the third player ever to win the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same year.
The NL Most Valuable Player Award finalists are Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto.
Nationals star Bryce Harper was not nominated for NL MVP. Harper hit .319 this season, but played in only 111 games because of a late-season knee injury.
The announcement for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America finalists aired live on MLB Network and MLB.com. The winners of the eight honors will be announced from Nov. 13-16, also on the MLB Network. The Cy Young winners will be announced on Nov. 15.
Matthew Paras contributed to this report.