Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth had to leave this afternoon’s game against the Rockies after suffering a left groin strain, due in part to dehydration from the flu, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Werth had singled to lead off the inning, but was pinch-run for by Roger Bernadina. Werth entered today’s game with a .256/.312/.413 slash line, low by his standards.
Werth previously missed a month between the beginning of May and the beginning of June due to a strained right hamstring. His tenure with the Nationals, now in his third year after signing a seven-year, $126 million free agent contract, has been plagued by injuries. He suffered a fractured left wrist last year that caused him to miss most of May and all of June and July.
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.