Interesting story about Marlins manager Jack McKeon in the New York Times today. Seems that every morning — at home or on the road — he goes to Mass. He’s done it for 60 years, and it’s just part of his game day routine, even if the team plane got in at 3AM and he has every reason to stay in bed.
I’m personally a non-believer so I can’t speak to the feelings and fulfillment McKeon describes as the result of his daily ritual, but my mother and the majority of my relatives and all of my wife’s are Catholic. I got married in a Catholic ceremony and I have always admired the ritual for its own sake. Even if you take the spiritual aspects of it away, there seems to be a peace and order of mind that comes from it all. Calmness and certainty in a often frustrating and often mad world.
Not that McKeon or any true Catholic can take the spiritual aspects away. This is just my own observation from afar. And no real deep point here. Just neat to see another side of a baseball figure who, in a lot of ways, has been reduced to caricature has he’s gotten older, and that’s always nice.
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.