We already knew that Joel Hanrahan was having season-ending surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right forearm, but doctors didn’t rule out the possibility that he would also require Tommy John surgery. Well, the worst-case scenario played out today.
Hanrahan’s agent, Mike Dillon, confirmed that his client had Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He also had a bone spur removed. It usually takes pitchers at least one year to make it back from Tommy John surgery, so he figures to miss the early part of the 2014 season.
The Red Sox acquired Hanrahan from the Pirates during the offseason to serve as their closer, but he only made nine appearances with the club. The 31-year-old is due to become a free agent this winter and will likely have to settle for an incentive-laden contract.
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.