Scherzer Nationals pitcher plans to join USA for Classic

Scherzer was a finalist for this year's National League's Cy Young Award as best pitcher.

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Max Scherzer won the 2013 American League Cy Young Award as top pitcher while under Leyland with the Detroit Tigers play

Max Scherzer won the 2013 American League Cy Young Award as top pitcher while under Leyland with the Detroit Tigers

(Getty/AFP/File)
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Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, a 20-game winner this past Major League Baseball season, says he plans to play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic next March.

Scherzer, a finalist for this year's National League's Cy Young Award as best pitcher, would be reunited with his former manager, Jim Leyland, who will guide the American squad in the quadrennial tournament of top global talent.

The 32-year-old right-hander won the 2013 American League Cy Young Award as top pitcher while under Leyland with the Detroit Tigers.

"I've been asked to participate and I would love to do it," Scherzer said.

Leyland hopes to guide the US squad to its best-ever Classic showing. Despite having the best American talent from the major leagues available, the team has never won the title, which went to Japan twice and the Dominican Republic most recently in 2013, or even finished in the top three.

"He loves the game more than anybody," Scherzer said of Leyland. "That's why I want to play for Team USA. I know everything he's about. He has always been one of my favorite managers."

Scherzer had a 2.96 earned-run average with 284 strikeouts over 228 1/3 innings in 34 starts this year. He became the first pitcher since Sandy Koufax in 1965 to lead the National League in wins, strikeouts and innings pitched.

Scherzer could become only the sixth pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues, joining Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Gaylord Perry.

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