During Friday’s 7-2 win over the Mets, Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer became the second starter in franchise history to string five consecutive starts together with 10+ strikeouts each. It’s a feat we’ve already seen the Red Sox’ Chris Sale replicate earlier this season, going eight consecutive starts with at least 10 strikeouts, but one that a Nationals’ pitcher has failed to accomplish since Pedro Martinez did it for the Expos in 1997.
Scherzer lasted eight innings on Friday, firing 10 strikeouts to clinch his eighth win of the season. He allowed three batters to reach via walk and hit by pitch in the first two innings, but kept the game scoreless through seven solid frames until Jose Reyes unloaded a 1-1 home run to kick off the eighth inning.
The veteran righty topped out at a season-high 118 pitches, besting the 116-pitch mark he hit back in April during seven innings of two-hit, seven-strikeout ball against the Braves. His 10 strikeouts were just enough to extend his strikeout streak, four shy of the 14 he set down against the Dodgers last week.
Scherzer will still need another 10-strikeout start to match Martinez, who polished off a streak of six such appearances for the club in ’97. He’ll need four more to supersede the all-time record of eight consecutive starts with 10+ strikeouts, which was set by Martinez in 1999 and matched by Sale twice in 2015 and 2017.
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna recently revealed that he has been dealing with an anxiety issue, Rob Longley of the Toronto Star reports. Osuna specified that the issue is completely off the field, not on the field. He is not sure when he’ll be able to return to pitch again.
Osuna had been feeling “a little bit anxious, a little bit weird” and said, “I feel like I’m lost a little bit right now.” Despite the anxiety, Osuna volunteered to pitch during Friday’s loss to the Royals, but the Blue Jays smartly chose not to put him into the game.
Osuna said, “I wish I knew how to get out of here and how to get out of this. We’re working on it. We’re trying to find ways to see what can make me feel better. But to be honest I just don’t know.”
It must have been tough for Osuna to make his issue public, as there is still a stigma around dealing with mental issues. Given the prominent position he holds in the Jays’ bullpen, fans become even less empathetic about taking time off to deal with it as well. Hopefully, Osuna is able to use the time off to get the help he needs. And hopefully his going public helps motivate other people dealing with mental issues to seek help for themselves.
The 22-year-old recently became the youngest player in major league history to reach 75 career saves. This season, Osuna is carrying a 2.48 ERA with 19 saves and a 37/3 K/BB ratio in 39 innings.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.
Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.
With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.