The Red Sox had Clay Buchholz throw a bullpen session yesterday as opposed to a rehab start as originally planned. While the change was designed to help his arm strength following shoulder bursitis, the timeline for his return remains a mystery.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Buchholz said today that he still felt some soreness during his bullpen session yesterday. There’s no plan for a rehab start at this time and he’s expected to be reevaluated after the All-Star break. Buchholz told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he’s aiming to throw a bullpen session Thursday, so the Red Sox could map things out from there if there’s no discomfort. He’ll need to make it through a simulated game before being cleared for a rehab start.
Buchholz has been out of action since June 8. The 28-year-old right-hander was off to a fantastic start prior to hitting the disabled list, posting a 1.71 ERA and 81/29 K/BB ratio over 84 1/3 innings. His absence appears likely to stretch into August at this point.
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.