Last winter, Scott Boras client Max Scherzer signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with Washington. But now the most expensive free-agent pitcher ever is a key reason why the Nationals are five games behind the Mets.
In yesterday's game, with Washington's playoff hopes on the line,
Scherzer gave up five earned runs, just as many as Mets starter Jon
Niese. Scherzer now has a 5.12 ERA and 1.38 WHIP after the All-Star break, with a 1-4 record in 10 starts.
If Scherzer had been pitching anywhere close to his great first half - 2.11 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 150 strikeouts in 132 innings, and a 10-7 record - Washington would be closer in the standings. Even with all their injuries, the Nationals ended the first half two games up on the Mets when Scherzer was on his game.
As good as he has been, Scherzer is not in the same league as superstar pitchers such as Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez. Kershaw has three Cy Youngs and was runnerup another year. King Felix has a Cy Young, two second-place finishes, a fourth place and and eighth place. Scherzer has one Cy Young but only one other year in which he received votes, finishing fifth.
Scherzer does not appear to be injured and presumably has many good
years of pitching ahead of him. But he is also 31 years old and will be
making $30 million per year until he is 38.
In three years, Boras client Matt Harvey is eligible for free agency. If Harvey leads the Mets to a World Series victory, I won't care how much money Boras's binders say Harvey is worth.
But it's hard to lead your team to a championship when you're shut down in October.
In other news, Squawker Lisa is now New York City Bureau Chief for Subway Squawkers. As New York Metropolitan Area Bureau Chief for Subway Squawkers, I am pleased to have Lisa as a valuable member of my team.