Daniel Murphy has made all 126 of his starts this season at second base and hasn’t played an inning at third base since 2011, but he returned from the disabled list last night and is at third base tonight with David Wright shut down for the season with shoulder problems.
Murphy had been out with a hamstring injury since August 24 and by shifting him to third base the Mets keep second base clear for 20-year-old rookie Dilson Herrera, who debuted last month and has fared pretty well through 10 career games.
Murphy’s last start at third base came on July 21, 2011. That day the Mets’ lineup also included Jose Reyes and Justin Turner as the double-play duo, Carlos Beltran, Angel Pagan, and Jason Pridie as the outfield, and Ronny Paulino at catcher.
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.