Here’s the MLB.com video highlight of Mike Napoli’s go-ahead solo blast from Saturday night, which put the Red Sox on top of the Yankees for good in the top of the ninth inning …
Listen closely as Napoli reaches the Red Sox dugout and you can hear him saying “what an idiot, what an idiot” in reference to Yankees rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka, who threw a bad fastball on a 1-2 count rather than opting for his signature out-pitch, the splitter. Napoli acknowledged that sound bite after the game:
Napoli kept his head down around the bases and saved the jab for his teammates, so this wasn’t exactly a vicious thing. But perhaps we’ll see some sort of spillover in Sunday night’s series finale on ESPN.
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.