Brewers finally end ridiculous scoring drought

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Ryan Braun’s two-run home run in the eighth inning of today’s series finale in St. Louis sparked a late-game comeback and ended a team record 32-inning scoreless inning streak. The home run brought the score to 3-2. In the ninth, Yuniesky Betancourt’s RBI double tied the game, and Jonathan Lucroy’s solo home run in the tenth gave the Brewers the 4-3 victory.

The Cardinals had won the first two games of the series 2-0 and 8-0. Prior to that, the Cubs held the Brewers scoreless from the third through the ninth innings on Tuesday, leading into Wednesday’s postponed game.

On ending the drought, Braun said, “This was like a sigh of relief for everybody. We haven’t been playing good baseball in any aspect of the game. It was nice to finally get a win.”

The 3-8 Brewers now return home for a six-game homestand against the Giants and Cubs.

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.