Ryan Howard could get a cortisone shot for sore ankle

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Ryan Howard, who was in an 0-for-15 slump before coming off the bench and delivering a game-winning double in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader, says his sore left ankle continues to bother him and he might get a cortisone shot.

It sounds as though Howard would prefer to just have the one cortisone shot, so he might choose to play through the pain for now and then get the injection prior to the start of the postseason.  It’s not as though the Phillies need him at his best right now.

Besides, even with that 0-for-15, Howard is hitting .255/.397/.553 with four homers and 10 RBI in 47 at-bats this month.  It looks like he’ll finish this year with the lowest OPS of his career — he’s at .831 right now — but he’s leading the majors with 113 RBI anyway.

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.