Six weeks after signing Roy Oswalt to a minor-league contract the Rockies look ready to add him to their rotation, with Troy Renck of the Denver Post reporting that a Thursday debut seems likely for the 35-year-old right-hander.
Oswalt made five starts in the minors, throwing 33 innings with a 2.16 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio at Double-A, where he was just named the Texas League pitcher of the week. He held opponents to a .211 batting average, but did serve up five homers in five starts.
Oswalt’s most recent outing was 8.1 innings of shutout ball Friday with seven strikeouts versus one walk. If he does start Thursday for the Rockies it’ll be against the Nationals, in Washington.
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.