The Rockies freed up $7 million this morning by sending former closer Huston Street to the Padres. Now they may use a portion of those funds to ink another ex-closer, Colorado resident Brad Lidge.
After overcoming arm problems, Lidge posted a 1.40 ERA in 19 1/3 innings for the Phillies last season. He also pitched two scoreless innings against the Cardinals in the NLDS. His velocity is well down following shoulder surgery, but by throwing his slider the majority of the time, he’s still proven pretty tough to hit. The league has batted .194 and .225 against him the last two years.
If signed, Lidge would help set up for Rafael Betancourt in Colorado. He’s probably looking for a guarantee in the $4 million range, with incentives that could take him above that.
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.