File this one away in the “statistically improbable” folder, next to the report of Phillies outfielder Richie Ashburn striking the same fan twice with a foul ball. On Saturday night, Astros minor leaguer Conrad Gregor belted his first Midwest League home run. After the ball cleared the fence, a man in a hat made a barehanded basket catch of the ball. That man? Gregor’s father, MiLB.com’s Josh Jackson reports.
According to the newspaper, Marty Gregor and Conrad’s mom came to Davenport, Iowa, for the Memorial Day weekend series, making the nearly five-hour drive from Carmel, Indiana. The 22-year-old first baseman made Saturday extra special by sparking a comeback win and sending his father a souvenir with one swing of the bat.
“He may have to watch every game from out there,” Gregor joked.
“It’s a little unbelievable, but I’m glad my parents were here to see it,” Gregor told the newspaper, “and when I got back to the dugout, I heard he made a pretty good catch.”
Watch Gregor’s blast:
Gregor, a 22-year-old first baseman, entered Sunday’s action slashing .307/.413/.425 in 184 plate appearances on the season with Single-A Quad Cities.
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.