V-Mart has passed his physical and is now officially a Detroit Tiger. Deep thoughts:
- I don’t like the “first initial, first few letters of the last name” nickname construction like “V-Mart,” but I do wish that someone named “Sam Martinez” would become a big star so I could call him S-Mart;
- If only they had done this two days ago before the Red Sox had offered him arbitration then the Tigers wouldn’t have to give up a first round pick. Or, I suppose the Sox could have just offered it earlier. Maybe double-secret deals and offers would help us out here;
- The Tigers may be pretty darn tough in the AL Central next season. I don’t think they’ll stay tough over the length of Martinez’s contract, but they’ll be good next year.
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.