The Cardinals have decided on a fill-in for starting pitcher Joe Kelly, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday afternoon with a strained left hamstring that he suffered Wednesday at Miller Park in Milwaukee while trying to beat out a groundball.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch it’ll be 26-year-old left-hander Tyler Lyons, and he will make his first start Monday evening in the Cards’ series-opener versus the Mets at Citi Field.
Lyons will likely remain in the St. Louis rotation for two turns, assuming Kelly’s hamstring strain isn’t too severe. Carlos Martinez — who nearly won the fifth starter spot over Kelly this spring — will remain in a setup role for now.
Lyons threw seven innings of one-run ball Wednesday for Triple-A Memphis. He had a 4.75 ERA, 1.226 WHIP, and 43/16 K/BB ratio in 53 innings last season as an emergency starter and long reliever for the 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.