Josh Hamilton wasn’t the only member of the Rangers playing through a painful injury.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Mike Gonzalez has a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was pulled from the seventh inning of Game 7 last night due to the injury, which he originally suffered late in the season.
“We didn’t want to tell anybody so they wouldn’t try to bunt or anything,” Gonzalez said. “I just had to gut it out until the end.”
Gonzalez will undergo surgery on the knee next week, but expects to be ready for spring training. The impending free agent had a 4.15 ERA over eight postseason appearances and compiled a 4.39 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings during the regular season between Texas and Baltimore. The 33-year-old southpaw held left-handed batters to a cool .214/.264/.311 batting line. While he won’t receive a two-year, $12 million contract again, he certainly still has value in a set-up role.
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.