In an ideal world, A.J. Pierzynski would like to play for the Braves

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As a Braves fan, I’m not sure how I feel about this. From Dan Hayes at CSNChicago.com on free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski:

“In a perfect situation, if there were no other deciding factors (money, another catcher), my ideal situation would be to play for the Braves,” Pierzynski said. “I grew up a Braves fan. That would be ideal, but with Brian McCann I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

I appreciate Pierzynski’s merits as a player and I think he probably gets way too much crap thrown at him for his attitude and character and stuff than is deserved. He’s had some incidents, but his teammates have almost always had his back which makes me think the “Pierzynski is a jerk” stuff is way overblown. But it also has never occurred to me that he and I would have similar rooting interests. I just … don’t know, man.

Guess it’s not that bad though. Especially when compared to the non-trivial possibility that Shane Victorino could actually be patrolling center field for Atlanta next year.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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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.