Daisuke Matsuzaka has looked fairly impressive in three minor league rehab starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. The next time he takes a mound, he will be donning a Red Sox uniform, and will be a member of Boston’s starting rotation.
Of course, that means one of the current members of the Red Sox’ five-man rotation must be bumped to the bullpen, and WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford heard from a source Thursday evening that it’s going to be Tim Wakefield.
Wakefield, a veteran knuckleballer, has posted a 6.38 ERA and 1.64 WHIP through three starts this season. Clay Buchholz, also considered for a demotion, has compiled a 1.50 ERA through his first three stats. Despite what Red Sox manager Terry Francona may tell the Boston media, the decision was almost certainly an easy one.
Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.
Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.
At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.