LaTroy Hawkins “likely” to return to Mets next season

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LaTroy Hawkins enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career as a member of the Mets in 2013 and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the veteran reliever is “likely” to return to the club for his age-41 season next year.

The Mets are one of two teams who have contacted Hawkins thus far. While no numbers have been discussed, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has placed a call to his representatives, which one source says is a sign that the club is “serious” about getting something done soon.

Hawkins had to settle for a minor league deal last winter, but he’s in line for a nice payday after posting a 2.93 ERA and 55/10 K/BB ratio over 70 2/3 innings this season. While he ended up saving 13 games after Bobby Parnell went down with a neck injury, he’d ideally slot back into a set-up capacity in 2014.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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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.