On May 11, 2016 Max Scherzer became just the third pitcher to ever record 20 strikeouts in a single game. Right now he is undoubtedly one of the five best starting pitchers in baseball. Scherzer has finished top five in his league's Cy Young voting in each of the past four seasons, including first place finishes in 2013 and 2016. As evidenced by this 20 strikeout performance and his multiple no-hitters, Scherzer is one of those guys that at his best he looks like the best pitcher of his generation.
Since signing a seven year, $210 million contract prior to 2015 Scherzer has been everything the Nationals could have hoped for. However, the team's regular season success has yet to translate to the postseason. Despite playoff appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016 the team has failed to advance to the second round. There seems to be added pressure for the franchise now that Bryce is going to be a free agent in just two years. This caused Washington to trade their top prospect to the White Sox this winter in exchange for Adam Eaton, which makes the Nationals the clear favorites to repeat as NL East champs heading into 2017.