Josh Hamilton finally gets the T.J. Simers treatment

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The moment Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels I began wondering when T.J. Simers would saunter up to him and do his usual antagonistic shtick. The answer: yesterday. And what’s Hamilton’s awful transgression for which Simers demands answers: he smiles.

Uh-oh, we’ve got another smiler. This catches on and we won’t have any athletes around town who appear as if they give a rip … Worse yet, and you would hope there is a competitor brewing down deep there, Hamilton comes across like the poster child for every athlete who knows he has guaranteed money coming.

It’s never good when the fans seem to care more than the guys competing to win or lose.

Because everyone knows that a player who is struggling but looks upset and angry is better to have than a player who is struggling and looks calm. And everyone knows you can tell how much someone cares by how agitated they appear to be.

Hamilton hit two home runs in the past two games. Simers credits himself for that, of course. The guy is just … man.

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.