Travis d’Arnaud was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas two weeks ago after he hit just .180/.271/.273 over his first 39 games this season, but he made sure that he didn’t stay down in the minors for long.
The Mets announced this evening that d’Arnaud will return to the majors for the start of a series against the Athletics tomorrow. And boy, did he earn it. The 25-year-old backstop hit .436 (24-for-55) with six home runs, eight doubles, and 16 RBI over 15 games with the 51s. Sure, the Pacific Coast League is considered extremely hitter-friendly, but those numbers are pretty bonkers.
There was extra incentive to bring d’Arnaud back to the majors this week, as the Mets would have lost his last minor league option if they waited past June 27. Of course, if all goes according to plan, he’ll perform well enough moving forward that the Mets won’t have to consider sending him down again.
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.