J.C. Romero has bounced around a ton over the past few seasons and his latest home is St. Louis, as the Cardinals have finalized a one-year deal with the left-handed reliever.
Romero’s terrible control and inability to consistently get right-handed batters out make him a poor fit in a setup role, but he remained death on left-handed batters even while struggling overall recently.
Over the past three years Romero held lefties to a .238 batting average and three homers in 147 at-bats, allowing a .658 OPS.
He’d have been a good fit for the matchup-obsessed Tony La Russa, but new manager Mike Matheny should be able to find some good spots for him as well.
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.