Scott Downs has been the best reliever available since the trade deadline Bacchanalia began, but Jayson Stark is now saying that he’s likely not going anywhere. Why? Mostly because the Blue Jays have continued to ask a hell of a lot for him. They may just keep him, he says, and go to arbitration with him this winter.
Jon Paul Morosi, however, is saying that the Twins — though probably not able to swing a deal — are still holding out a bit of interest. Which would be a tragedy for me on a personal level. That’s because if the Twins were willing to trade Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps, they’d probably trade Justin Morneau and cash for Downs, which would give Gleeman a coronary, and then I’d be stuck writing this blog all by myself.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.