Jason Hammel had the most effective season of his career after being traded to Baltimore, posting a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts, and the Orioles announced that he’ll get the Opening Day start this season.
Hammel missed nearly the entire second half with a knee injury, but he’s healthy now and was a pretty easy choice for the Game 1 assignment.
Last year’s Opening Day starter was Jake Arrieta, who ended up going 3-9 with a 6.20 ERA. So if nothing else Hammel doesn’t exactly have big shoes to fill.
Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.
Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.
At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.