Last week when the Cardinals skipped Jaime Garcia’s turn in the rotation they said it was for an elbow injury, but after he got knocked around in his return start they revealed that he was also dealing with shoulder and hip problems.
Today they placed Garcia on the disabled list and the official reason is his shoulder, which they’re calling strained for now.
To take his spot on the roster they recalled Fernando Salas from Triple-A, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals will likely make another move to add a fill-in starter for Sunday.
Garcia, who signed a four-year, $27.5 million contract extension 11 months ago, had a long history of arm problems before reaching the majors, but he’s been mostly healthy since 2010 with a 3.37 ERA in 71 starts.
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.