UPDATE: Bob Nightengale reports that, per Sanchez’s agent, Sanchez has agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal with the Tigers.
9:20 AM: Last night’s crazy uncertainty about Anibal Sanchez seems to be over. Jon Heyman just reported that the Cubs have pulled out of the bidding for Sanchez, which presumably means the Tigers are going to land him.
As of this morning, Ken Rosenthal said that the Cubs had upped their offer to five-years, $77.5 million. So, apparently, the Tigers topped that. Which is weird given that Heyman is hearing that they’re at $75 million. There has to be some sort of disconnect here. Either that’s old information on the Tigers’ last bid or else the Cubs pulled their $77.5 million offer off the table. Or, possibly, that was bad information.
Certainly confusing stuff, but understandable when a bidding war is afoot.
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.