After throwing just one complete game in the first 210 starts of his career, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer went the distance for a third time in his last four outings in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Having previously tossed complete-game shutouts against the Milwaukee Brewers on June 14 and Pittsburgh Pirates on June 20, Scherzer allowed two runs over 8.1 innings Tuesday night against the Braves.

He was a tough-luck loser in the game, giving up a walk-off RBI single to Braves outfielder Cameron Maybin in the bottom of the ninth inning.

A dominant starter since the beginning of 2013, Scherzer could typically be counted on for six or seven excellent innings during his time with the Detroit Tigers, but his strikeout-heavy profile made it hard to keep his pitch count low enough to finish off games.

A move to the National League seems to have helped him in that regard, and his statistics have somehow been more dominant than ever.

Through his first 16 starts with the Nationals, Scherzer owns a 9-6 record, 1.82 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 139-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 118.2 innings.

Among qualified National League starters, he ranks first in WHIP and innings and second in ERA and strikeouts.

Scherzer has thus emerged as the early favorite for Cy Young honors, although Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, among others, figure to mount a strong challenge.

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