Via Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune, the Pirates have activated starter Gerrit Cole from the disabled list, hours before his scheduled start against the Mets on Saturday afternoon. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Pirates have optioned Brandon Cumpton back to Triple-A Indianapolis.
The 23-year-old Cole has been on the disabled list since June 4 with right shoulder fatigue. Prior to the injury, Cole posted a 3.64 ERA with a 69/25 K/BB ratio in 76 2/3 innings over 12 starts. He’ll oppose Jon Niese at PNC Park in his first start back.
Cumpton, 25, has been up and down between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh several times this season. He has a 4.61 ERA with a 32/12 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings over nine major league starts.
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.