Presented without comment:
An analysis of Major League Baseball fans conducted by Emory Sports Marketing Analytics compared fan demand with winning percentage. Phillies fans are the most demanding on the study’s “win sensitivity” list. Next in line were fans of the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox.
At the bottom of the ranking — the fans who attended games whether their teams were winning or losing — were the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals.
OK, one comment: Please go back to the comments of any Phillies-related post at HardballTalk from, say, 2009-2011 and observe that the word “diehard” was used so often by Phillies fans to describe themselves that the Oxford English Dictionary considered making DiehardPhilliesFan its very own word.
But let’s not data interfere with a heartfelt belief.
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.