As first relayed by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, shortstop Hanley Ramirez is back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup on Wednesday night versus the Mets after sitting out eight games because of a jammed right shoulder. He will start at short and hit cleanup against Mets right-hander Dillon Gee.
Ramirez is batting .359/.410/.641 with 11 homers and seven stolen bases in 55 games this season for the first-place Dodgers, who will be looking for their 40th win in 48 games Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The last team to rattle off a 40-8 stretch was the Stan Musial-led 1942 World Series-champion Cardinals.
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.