As Amanda Rykoff writes at Awful Announcing today, TBS messed up royally last night.
Rather than show the insane excitement of the PNC Park crowd and give us the player introductions, the national anthem — which was sung by Andrew McCutchen’s mom! — and all of the other pomp and circumstance of the long-awaited return of the playoffs to Pittsburgh, we got studio filler and chatter. Go read her indictment of the proceedings and get mad. And you should be mad, because you missed great stuff.
I’ve been around TV studios a bit in the past couple of years and I understand that it’s hard for that kind of operation to be nimble at times. There are so many moving parts and people to answer to that you can’t just cut away without warning. But here they had warning. Ever since it was known that there would be a playoff game in Pittsburgh, people have been talking about how crazy the scene would be. And TBS thought we’d rather watch people in the studio talking about that crazy scene than actually showing it to us.
Here’s part of it, though. It’s McCutchen’s mom singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
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.