Luke Scott “progressing” enough to avoid in-season surgery

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When a partially torn shoulder labrum finally sent Luke Scott to the disabled list last week there was speculation that he might end up opting for season-ending surgery, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that he “seems to be progressing” and “surgery does not seem necessary at this point.”

Scott struggled mightily while trying to play through the injury, hitting just .223 with a .712 OPS overall and shutting things down in the middle of a 12-for-62 (.194) slump, yet he’s apparently hoping to come off the DL when eligible early next week.

In the meantime Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie will continue to form a quasi-platoon in left field. Reimold has started five of the seven games in Scott’s absence and the 27-year-old former top prospect has looked like his pre-2010 self with a .780 OPS in 27 games overall.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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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.