Victor Martinez expected back on Monday

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According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he expects catcher Victor Martinez (thumb) to be ready to return from the disabled list on Monday.  Like, this Monday.  Tomorrow.

Martinez caught a Clay Buchholz bullpen session on Saturday and reported no abnormal pain or discomfort in his once-fractured left thumb.  His return to the everyday lineup will be big, as Francona told the Globe.

“You’ve got your switch-hitter right smack in the middle, that would be good,” said the manager.

V-Mart was batting .289/.344/.480 with nine homers and 38 RBI in 246 at-bats at the time that he was placed on the disabled list.  The Red Sox have entrusted starting catching duties to Kevin Cash and Dusty Brown while he has been out because veteran backup Jason Varitek is sidelined with an injury of his own.  It’s safe to say they’re about to get an upgrade.

Max Scherzer reaches 300 strikeouts on the season

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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.