Josh Beckett chased early against Indians

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It was tee time for the Indians against Josh Beckett earlier this evening.

Beckett, who recently missed a start with lat soreness after tying a career-high by throwing 126 pitches on April 29, was blasted for seven runs over just 2 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits, including homers from Jack Hannahan and Jason Kipnis, while striking out two and walking two. The Indians plated three runs in the second and four in the third before he got the hook.

This was Beckett’s shortest outing since he gave up eight runs over 2 1/3 innings on August 17, 2008 against the Blue Jays. He previously gave up seven runs in his first start of the season against the Tigers on April 7.

Beckett now has a 5.97 ERA over his first six starts this season. Red Sox starters have a miserable 6.01 ERA as a whole, including a 7.24 ERA at Fenway Park. Pretty hard to win that way.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.